why so aggressive? afaik the game was done by some demo scene people, and if it was possible to do some sneaky q-channel checks, why not?
No agression at all
Really, the only console subs-based protection known is libcrypt. Neo Geo CD doesn't count, since it checks for additional indexes only, the sub itself is standard with no unusual data and can be replaced with proper .cue.
We preserve the subchannels when possible (proper and verifiable ones, not like trurip), they just aren't in the main database. This particular dump is from the earlier days, so it doesn't have any subs, but, honestly, this just sounds ridiculous. MESS isn't the first emulator running this title, such protection would be already documented, if existed.
Also, if you've read my earlier posts, you would know, that I'm for complete preservation, including lead-in and lead-out areas, since it's doable and lets you get rid off tocs/cues/whatever - only the actual data dumped from the CD in a single file, like it should be done years ago.