MWS / Flash Cracking Group, The Light Circle, Elite, Radwar Enterprises 1941
Added on December 2nd, 2003 (10091 views)

Tell us something about yourself.
Markus Wiederstein, 35. I was born in Siegen, Germany 1968-09-07. Today I live in Erkelenz, which is near Düsseldorf, Cologne and the Dutch border. I work as a programmer for a company that develops medical software. My interests changed in December last year as my son Leon was born. You can't believe how much fun it is to see a baby take its first steps in life. ;-) But I'm still a Commodore 64 fanatic of course, as it is my first child. ;-)

What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
My handle is MWS which is a abbreviation of my real name. I've used it since we started Radwar in 1985.

What group(s) were you in?
Flash Cracking Group (FCG), The Light Circle (co-op between FCG, Radwar, RSI and TCS), Elite (secret coop between Radwar, Strike Force, Movers and Mr. Zeropage) and finally Radwar (since 1985).

What roles have you fulfilled?
From 1984 to 1990 I did a lot of cracking and coding. Besides that, I did most of the organizing around our parties.

How long were you active for?
See above.

Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
Flash and I were in the same school class and we decided to get a C64. Of course we played a lot of games at first, but after some time we started to play around with Simon's Basic. Then I moved to Heinsberg (the hometown of Radwar) and I met my pals Arnd, Bernd and Theo. We all started to learn machine code and used the old Hes-Mon from Hesware.

The only real good cracks at this time were the cracks of G.I. Joe and an Ariola Soft title I can't remember. So when we were ready to start something fresh, we got together with some friends and started FCG (Flash Cracking Group). Our first crack was Hyper Sports from tape. The group members at this time were Flash, AVH, BKA, TC, Duke, CFB, EDE, Peter and Marcel (later FAC), PBA, MRX, Irata and NSC. That was around the time when we first went to the great Venlo meetings in Holland. The proudest moment at that time was when we did a one side version of Tour de France from Activision from tape because ABC greeted us and said: "Hi FCG! Thanx for the track 18 trick!" (guess what we did ;-)). Later on, FCG was divided in to three main groups: Radwar, Flash Cracking Group and Federation Against Copyright (FAC). Read the whole story here:

Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
Power on, play M.U.L.E., turn power off. ;-)

Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
Flash Cracking Group programmed the first border sprites demo which was presented on the Commodore Fair in Frankfurt 1985. I did the first disk based magazine on the C64 called Digital News in 1987 and the first issue was published on Radwar Party I in 1988. Read more here: Later in Radwar, AVH did the first C64 interlace demo, and I coded a complete user friendly IFFL System with packers, loaders, and stuff with my friend Crisp. I also did a lot of copy protection stuff like T.I.M.E.X. with Mr. Cursor and a superb tape loading system for multipart games together with Mario van Zeist (BWB/Radwar). You can find the stuff here:

When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
The friendship we had over the years. AVH, DUKE, Mr. Zeropage, Sodan, BKA, Irata, Flash, X-Ample, DXS, MDG, Dynamic Duo (R.I.P.), FAC, Chris Hülsbeck, Maniacs of Noise, Fairlight, Alpha Flight 1970, Level 99 and Red Sector Inc. They were all good friends!

Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
Mr. Zeropage, Mr. Z, Janitor, Crackman, Antitrack, Mr. Cursor, Oliver Stiller, Mario van Zeist for all the knowledge and fun we shared.

What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
T.I.M.E.X. by Mr. Cursor and border sprites by Flash, closely followed by side border sprites by 1001 Crew and Sodan.

Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
Yes and we arranged our own ones too. Check:

In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
The old scene was all about friendship, team play and fun. When people like Headbanger appeared, it was the outselling of the scene and the war of being the first and making money began.

What were the particular highlights for you?
The Venlo meetings followed by the WDR Computer TV live show which featured us and some friends, and in the evening the Radwar Party. See the report here:

Any cool stories to share with us?
The 5th Radwar Party (held in 1990) was once again a summer camping that ended up in the rain. The meadow was completely ruined after those three days. The grass was either burned or destroyed by the people. The two toilet cabins were forgotten by the company from which we rented them from and they stood there the whole next week. Almost no one had used them but we had to pay 800 DM for them anyways! Today if you meet a Radwar member and he suddenly starts to groan, be sure he just spotted a toilet cabin.

Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
Yes, I am! AVH, DUKE, Mr. Zeropage, Sodan, BKA, Irata, X-Ample, DXS, MDG, Danish Gold, FAC, Chris Hülsbeck, Maniacs of Noise, Fairlight, Alpha Flight 1970 and (T)RSI.

When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
I got it for Christmas in 1983 and I still have it here beside me. ;-)

Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?
Yes, and without it my life would have gone in to a completely different direction, that's for sure!

When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
Well, maybe next year. A couple of ideas for a kewl 4 kB demo are in our heads. ;-)

Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
Let's say it with my friends’ words: You could feel the spirit that tied the scene together. There were no fights, no wars, no smashed glasses and no painted walls. There were friendship and fun. You nearly knew everybody and there were no "elites" and no "lamers". Those who had software gave it to those who didn't. I never felt this again. (AVH 9th of January 1988)

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