What was your favourite ZX Spectrum game?

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I got my spectrum 48k at Xmas 1984. A year after everyone in my then Primary 7 class got theirs. I had to wait a whole year, it was torture!
I forget when I got my Spectrum 128k+ WITH TAPE MACHINE BUILT IN!!

My 2 most played games would've been Match Day (or Match Day II) and Graham Gooch Cricket. There was a football manager simulator too that I forget the name of that I loved to play.
Manic Miner was great too. My joystick never recovered from Daley Thompson 1 & 2.

What was that label that sold all the games for £2.99? Spellbound was a cracking game for that price.

pfunkboy, Friday, 28 September 2007 15:25 (7 years ago) Permalink

Graham Gooch Cricket

arcane fact: you had to type LOAD "" CODE to run it.

i used to know how to do that trick; ie fool the header file into thinking the first block of basic was actually machine code.

What was that label that sold all the games for £2.99? Spellbound was a cracking game for that price

mastertronic, and derivatives thereof ... spellbound was on a "new" £2.99 label as opposed to the normal £1.99 one ... MAD, that was it. "mastertronic added dimension".

nb: i write all this shit as fact, because it's how i remember it. i might be wrong about some of it. it worries me how much i can recall.

grimly fiendish, Friday, 28 September 2007 15:28 (7 years ago) Permalink

Firebird was another cheap label. Booty on Firebird was a cracker.

Best Mastertronic game I had was Millipede.

Alba, Friday, 28 September 2007 15:33 (7 years ago) Permalink

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spellbound_(computer_game)

xposts damn you grimly.

pfunkboy, Friday, 28 September 2007 15:36 (7 years ago) Permalink

Was it Firebird that was owned by BT? Something-bird, at any rate.

Forest Pines Mk2, Friday, 28 September 2007 15:36 (7 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, that's right. Knew it was owned by someone big but couldn't think who.

Alba, Friday, 28 September 2007 15:38 (7 years ago) Permalink

grimly, I'm 27. Five years older sounds about perfect, actually. There was a Spectrum around the house for as long as I remember (so yes, I was lucky and privileged too) and a fair chunk of my birthday money would go on whichever budget games had the most enticing inlay (i.e. lots of Ricochet rereleases and Mastertronic games here too, then plenty of Codemasters), but by the time I was old enough to start taking it really seriously and keep up with new releases 8-bit was dying.

I'd forgotten how GREAT the cartography room in JSW 2 is! There's a page about it on grimly's link but I spent a while being puzzled and then delighted by it so I won't spoil it myself.

I think it was Firebird. They had some good games but I resented them for some adventure game which I couldn't get past the first few screens of despite using all the items in every possible location. (xpost)

a passing spacecadet, Friday, 28 September 2007 15:39 (7 years ago) Permalink

I'd forgotten how GREAT the cartography room in JSW 2 is

it was originally there for debugging! and that's all i'll say about it ;)

there was firebird and (?) rainbird or something, which did full-price "grown-up" games, but not for very long.

grimly fiendish, Friday, 28 September 2007 16:20 (7 years ago) Permalink

"See also Torremolinos, the adventure game of package holidays."

Alba - do you remember "Urban Upstart"? The adventure game about yobbery? It was the only adventure game I finished, and I figured it all out myself. It's must be a time capsule now.....the only game where you could get your head kicked in, in a skin'ead styleeee....

And for those of you who found Underwurlde frustrating, what about Bugaboo? The only people I know who completed it did it by fluke. They could never repeat it.

That's another sub-genre of Spectrum games - the impossible ones. Like the third screen of Hunchback (swinging over the fire) - damn near impossible.

PhilK, Friday, 28 September 2007 19:15 (7 years ago) Permalink

I have a feeling you could get your head kicked in by yobs in Hampstead! No, don't remember Urban Upstart. I'm not sure I ever finished any adventure game. Maybe The Hobbit.

Alba, Friday, 28 September 2007 20:00 (7 years ago) Permalink

Alba - do you remember "Urban Upstart"? The adventure game about yobbery? It was the only adventure game I finished, and I figured it all out myself. It's must be a time capsule now.....the only game where you could get your head kicked in, in a skin'ead styleeee....

GOD DAMN i loved that game. i *nearly* completed it. got to the plane, got in, tried to fly ... FORGOT TO READ THE FUCKING HANDBOOK and crashed.

actually one of the most evocative and wonderful games of all time. even the time it took to render the graphics -- and the freaky hum my shit telly made displaying the rain scenes -- was evocative of the aesthetic brutalism of the time. the most early-80s game ever.

> LISTEN

[plays frank sinatra]

... that was it, wasn't it? in the chip shop?

http://www.vgmuseum.com/images/01/Urban%20Upstart%203.gif

grimly fiendish, Friday, 28 September 2007 22:01 (7 years ago) Permalink

arse, too much BEER:

grimly fiendish, Friday, 28 September 2007 22:01 (7 years ago) Permalink

grimly fiendish, Friday, 28 September 2007 22:07 (7 years ago) Permalink

grimly fiendish, Friday, 28 September 2007 22:08 (7 years ago) Permalink

i'm settling on this.

dude went on to do "tau ceti". which i never played.

grimly fiendish, Friday, 28 September 2007 22:09 (7 years ago) Permalink

For ages I read Sinclair User.

I am not alone woohoo! Started early enough that not all covers were just copies of exciting promo material they'd been sent. Can any of us remember the name of the ROCK BAND that adorned the cover on one occasion, who used the Speccy in their music making? (Also, Gordo Greatbelly. Crap conceit w/ knowingly dim fantasy story taking up 1/3 of column, but useful hints.)

nb: i write all this shit as fact, because it's how i remember it. i might be wrong about some of it. it worries me how much i can recall.

Yes yes me too. This means nothing except that what we remember is the actual TRUTH.

Age disclosure subthread: 38, and I also feel I got an Spectrum at exactly the right time. Then again, I spurn all editions without rubber keys and/or > 48K as "compromising the dream" or something.

Obligatory game mention: Maziacs!

"You need(ed) some sustenance!"

I have a horrible feeling I'll spend far too much time this weekend hitting the emulatz0rs oh noes.

anatol_merklich, Friday, 28 September 2007 22:45 (7 years ago) Permalink

clarifyin: without rubber keys and/or with >48K = not a nactual Spectrum.

anatol_merklich, Friday, 28 September 2007 22:49 (7 years ago) Permalink

you sinclair user readers need to be punched in the throat :)

DG, Friday, 28 September 2007 22:51 (7 years ago) Permalink

Can any of us remember the name of the ROCK BAND that adorned the cover on one occasion, who used the Speccy in their music making?

All the SU covers are here:
http://www.sincuser.f9.co.uk/covers.htm
I think you mean issue 26 from May 1984:
http://www.sincuser.f9.co.uk/026/index.htm

And looking at some of those covers reminds me of a disturbing fact: my dad looks like Clive Sinclair, if he was bald - and ginger...

snoball, Friday, 28 September 2007 22:59 (7 years ago) Permalink

Oh blimey. That is not a rock band. I remember that issue.

Sinclair User had another cover around that time with some equally baffling "Mersey Beat: The knives are out" line.

Alba, Friday, 28 September 2007 23:07 (7 years ago) Permalink

Actually it may have been on some even crappier mag I had.

What is Mark Radcliffe doing on the front of Sinclair user no.30?

Alba, Friday, 28 September 2007 23:12 (7 years ago) Permalink

!!

]

Alba, Friday, 28 September 2007 23:17 (7 years ago) Permalink

I think you mean issue 26 from May 1984

YES YES I DO. Scariest thing is I envisaged the face of #2 from left when I wrote above, and mental picture was totally accurate! The other ones, incl. notable moustache person lower right I have absolutely no memory of, but those were different times, maybe he was then less notable.

They appear to have been called Mensana! That rings no bells either, but offers a hint twds why they would do such a thing.

anatol_merklich, Friday, 28 September 2007 23:21 (7 years ago) Permalink

"MORE PAGES THAN EVER!" The times when it was actually possible to feel there were too few words, sentences and paragraphs to read about your interests...

anatol_merklich, Friday, 28 September 2007 23:23 (7 years ago) Permalink

I envisaged the face of #2 from left

Looking closer, I am not entirely sure that isn't Tuomas, at the exact same age as today, plus hair, plus specs, minus beard?

anatol_merklich, Friday, 28 September 2007 23:28 (7 years ago) Permalink

The guy holding the Spectrum looks like Bamber Gascoine, and the dude with the guitar looks like Chuck Norris! They seem familiar even though I don't recall the name.
The box labelled "Upstream" is a MIDI interface so presumably they were just using the Spectrum as a sequencer rather than as a sound source. Which is a pity as then they'd be the first chiptune band!

snoball, Friday, 28 September 2007 23:34 (7 years ago) Permalink

And speaking of making music with a Spectrum, this is probably my favourite "Fred Harris demonstrates something" clip - this time the SpecDrum.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=cLfYT6yXgEc

MORE COWBELL FRED!

snoball, Friday, 28 September 2007 23:36 (7 years ago) Permalink

presumably they were just using the Spectrum as a sequencer rather than as a sound source.

I think this was the case, yes. Prob seems less cool now than using it as a sound source*, but ooth they must've made their own interface to plug into the raw circuitboard exposed at the back-right, which is cool in its own right.

*) also cmon twas a simple on-off-to-the-speaker thing, that would not be specific to the computer and sound exactly the same made by one's own flipflop circuits or whatever.

anatol_merklich, Friday, 28 September 2007 23:50 (7 years ago) Permalink

they must've made their own interface

The interface was a commercial product, but maybe the band were involved in designing it? There's a whole pile of stuff here:
http://www.worldofspectrum.org/
...including a lot of information on hardware. As a BBC Micro owner that was the thing I envied Spectrum users, because they had a vast range of hardware for that expansion slot.

snoball, Saturday, 29 September 2007 00:12 (7 years ago) Permalink

And speaking of making music with a Spectrum, this is probably my favourite "Fred Harris demonstrates something" clip - this time the SpecDrum.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=cLfYT6yXgEc

MORE COWBELL FRED!

-- snoball, Saturday, 29 September 2007 00:36 (1 hour ago)

AWESOME

max r, Saturday, 29 September 2007 01:18 (7 years ago) Permalink

"it's like a word processor for drum beats"

max r, Saturday, 29 September 2007 01:22 (7 years ago) Permalink

There's another Speccy/puter mag thread somewhere where I bigged up Sinclair User, which, I believe, became the daddy Speccy mag from issue 56 onward.

DavidM, Saturday, 29 September 2007 09:07 (7 years ago) Permalink

It always had really really awful covers though, which went from cheesy photo-covers in the early days to garish, messy drawings in its heyday.

Okay, WHAT were they thinking?

DavidM, Saturday, 29 September 2007 09:09 (7 years ago) Permalink

I am gonna play the shit out of Marsport today.

Noodle Vague, Saturday, 29 September 2007 10:52 (7 years ago) Permalink

b-b-but he's not dancing with a spectrum. he's dancing with a ZX81, isn't he?

fools.

i started with sinclair user, then progressed to crash and -- occasionally -- your spectrum. when your spectrum became your sinclair and started ripping off smash hits left, right and centre, it became my core speccy read, and i heartily wish i'd kept all my back issues. t'zer! markus berkmann! phil south! these people helped define my youth. and the free viz giveaway helped define my puerile adulthood.

xpost lucky sod. i need to shuttle about between hospitals and in-laws' houses and shit.

grimly fiendish, Saturday, 29 September 2007 10:57 (7 years ago) Permalink

:-(

Hope everything's okay there dude.

Noodle Vague, Saturday, 29 September 2007 10:59 (7 years ago) Permalink

ach, it's a slowly ongoing process involving my ageing father-in-law and his surprising lazarus-style japes ;)

grimly fiendish, Saturday, 29 September 2007 11:07 (7 years ago) Permalink

i did keep all my back issues :(

there's always this

DG, Saturday, 29 September 2007 11:09 (7 years ago) Permalink

First snag: can't find any squared paper in the house and I'm too hungover to go buy some. But Marsport is the most user-friendly of the Gargoyle adventures because of its grid layout, so I'm going for it freehand on plain paper.

Noodle Vague, Saturday, 29 September 2007 12:17 (7 years ago) Permalink

I dunno, I had Marsport, but I never liked it as much as TNN and DD. Partly cos it didn't quite have the atmosphere, but partly also because it was an example of a software house coming up with an innovative idea and then repeating it with diminishing returns.

It was like Ultimate after Knight Lore. Alien 8 was OK, but then they just churned out further Knight Lore copies to ever reduced effect.

As to the plastic/rubber keyboard thing, I seem to remember that this was keenly debated by connoisseurs of Daley Thompson's Dectathlon. iirc, the plastic keyboard was WELL-favoured for the running events

PhilK, Saturday, 29 September 2007 12:55 (7 years ago) Permalink

Oh yeah grimly - wasn't there a pre-"Urban Upstart" game by the same fella? I seem to recall that it involved a desert island. It was my second favourite adventure game iirc (out of two, natch), but I only got about 1/3 the way through it.

PhilK, Saturday, 29 September 2007 12:59 (7 years ago) Permalink

the plastic keyboard was WELL-favoured for the running events

The Spectrum +3's keyboard was essential for my dominance in Hypersports. Rubbish for typing but excellent for doing the tricky left/right/breathe combination for swimming, and also hair trigger enough for me to get a perfect score in skeet shooting practically every time.

xpost

snoball, Saturday, 29 September 2007 13:00 (7 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, the plastic keyboard had quite a responsive kickback, iirc.

PhilK, Saturday, 29 September 2007 13:06 (7 years ago) Permalink

I'd forgotten how irritating it is when one of those Sept warrior things mugs you and you have to go back to the start and go through all the same tasks again like a soft fucking bastard.

Noodle Vague, Saturday, 29 September 2007 13:08 (7 years ago) Permalink

I seem to recall that it involved a desert island.

This narrows it down to 90% of adventures.

There's an I Love Games thread about modern text adventures somewhere.

Raw Patrick, Saturday, 29 September 2007 14:02 (7 years ago) Permalink

No.

90% of adventures involve dwarves.

PhilK, Saturday, 29 September 2007 15:13 (7 years ago) Permalink

Both are true. 85% of adventures involve dwarves on desert islands.

Alba, Saturday, 29 September 2007 15:20 (7 years ago) Permalink

The very best thing for Daley running etc was a joystick which was both

a) very small (ie fingertip control rather than grabaround) and
b) programmable (ie up, down, left, right, fire could be assigned to the keys of your choice).

My devious trick was to assign the running buttons to Down and Right, so that the distance between the two was very short.

anatol_merklich, Saturday, 29 September 2007 15:56 (7 years ago) Permalink

Yes. I remember insanely waggling my Kempston from side to side, while a vein no doubt bulged on my forehead. Didn't think of the down/right trick though.....

I remember that you couldn't do this in front of anyone else (esp. brothers etc.) as the proto-masturbatory symbolism was bound to provoke laughter.

PhilK, Saturday, 29 September 2007 16:27 (7 years ago) Permalink

Ha! Pashmina!

I've just done a bit of googling and found out that the "Forbidden" part of Dun Darach was originally called "Lady Q's" and was a brothel.

I got a very early copy, and mine said "Lady Q's" (not "Ladyo's" apparently) and NOT "Forbidden".

I still couldn't find a way in, but some early copies must have got out before the sign was changed to "Forbidden".

Still the intriguing possibility exists that some may have got out with the centre bit still in.....

PhilK, Saturday, 29 September 2007 17:31 (7 years ago) Permalink


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