Enlarge /. The artist's introduction to Square Enix temporarily throws the Trials of Mana demo back into the void.
Square Enix removed the trial version of Trials of Mana from Steam after hackers found a workaround that used the demo to access the full version of the game.
"Due to unforeseen circumstances, we need to temporarily take the Trials of Mana demo offline on Steam. We hope it will be available again soon," wrote Square Enix in the game's Steam community. "Please be assured that any progress made by those who downloaded and played the demo will be preserved and will be reflected when it is back online."
The workaround, as described in Message Board posts on the Internet, required downloading a copy of the Steam files distributed with a legitimate copy of Trials of Mana. These files usually don't work if they are loaded into a Steam account that hasn't bought the game. However, copying some files in the "Paks" directory could tempt Steam to load the full game through the free demo version associated with their account (although some users have reported problems loading the "extra" chapter at the end of the game when using this method).
This specific workaround method reflects a method that was first discovered in 2016 when it was used to unlock this year's version of Doom. The method was remarkable at the time when the first case of crackers bypassed Denuvo's DRM protection, which was largely considered "crack-proof" at the time.
Since then, crackers have started routinely cracking Denuvo-protected games, sometimes even before the games are fully released. Despite the now defunct workaround, Denuvo's core protection at Trials of Mana remains untorn, according to numerous online trackers. With this Steam-related "demo hole" plugged into the shelter, potential pirates now have to buy the entire game if they want to play it.