CRASH - The Online Edition
— Issue 62 Contents|
Run the Gauntlet
SIR CLIVE SINCLAIR has been at it again! His Cambridge-based microchip firm Anamartic is preparing to launch a new chip: the wafer-scale integration (WSI) memory device. This is promised to be entirely grease-free and is apparently excellent with oodles of salt and vinegar. It should also allow processor and memory chips to be combined for extra taste.
Apparently the WSI will transform fast-food computing. But Sir Clive has been turning his attention to more pressing matters. In June, he’s wiring up his circuits (ie, getting married) to beautiful ex-model, Bernadette Tynan. According to The Mail On Sunday, the couple met through MENSA, the society for really brainy sods. Bernadette’s IQ is only five points less than Clive’s. Contrarily, her age is less than half his — it all goes to show that Clive is still an expert in vital statistics.
IF YOU watch ITV’s Motormouth on Saturday mornings, you’ll no doubt have spotted the section featuring Firebird’s odd arcade adventure, Weird Dreams. A viewer is phoned and asked general knowledge questions. If the viewer gets the answer right, the game’s main character proceeds to the next level. Mega-amazing, you’re thinking, but so what? Well, the good news is that Weird Dreams is coming soon to your Spectrum. So prepare yourself for some Speccy surrealism within the next few months. Meanwhile, you can experience weird dreams while watching Motormouth itself — it sends most people off to the land of Nod.
Eyes down for a full house, Domark have been revealed as the software house responsible for bringing Bob Monkhouse to the Spectrum. Bob’s Full House is the name, and bingo’s the game. So apart from winning a positive parade of pretend prizes, we’ll be able to sample a wealth of wit from the master of innuendo himself. So fingers on the buzzers... I said buzzers, madam, smirk smirk... glazed look at the camera, wait for canned laughter.
After so much argument about sexism in software the Ed’s decided it’s all a load of boulderdash (or words to that effect). So we’ve decided to award those hard-working girls that slave over a hot phone from dawn until dusk, trying to convince everyone that their product is much better than everyone else’s. Never mind what they’re called — Marketing Assistants, Promotions Coordinators, Press Liaison Officers — they’re all basically PR girlies. They all have a special talent which sets them apart from the big cheeses — they can tell you all about an uninteresting game, but still bring a smile to your face on a rainy Friday night.
And so to the awards... In reverse order, third place goes to Richard ‘your secret’s safe with me, m’love’ Barclay from gorgeous Gremlin Graphics, with luscious Liz Sandey from Cascade Games coming in a seductive second. And the coveted award of CRASH 1988 PR Girl Of The Year goes to the delectable Danielle Woodyatt from US Gold for her dedicated devotion to software promotion. As well as the prestigious award, Danielle also gets to review a game of her own choice within this very issue. Danielle chose Human Killing Machine, turn to page 15 for her unbiased opinion.
AS A DIRECT consequence of Dominic Handy leaving CRASH, a mega industry figure has suffered. As US Gold’s Software Manager, David Baxter’s whole career has been expertly fashioned by the promotional skills of Handy. It is rumoured that the CRASH Ed took this ‘poor, pathetic excuse for a pile of trash’ from the lochs of Scotland and introduced him to computers in the mid-1980s. Handy could see that Baxter had an eye for the market when he got his first steady job at Elite. At least Mr Baxter thought it was steady. Little was he to know that Handy was already sculpting a new career for him at Birmingham-based US Gold, as head of the Capcom/Rainbow Arts labels.
Although suffering at the beginning of 1988, Handy’s flamboyant skills were realised in August 1988 when he chose Rainbow Arts’ The Great Giana Sisters as cover-picture material for CRASH. The game was immediately banned when rivals complained that the CRASH cover was so good it would convince too many people to buy the game — the complainants ruled ‘unfair promotion’. Baxter was propelled to stardom as the producer of the game, with classic quotes like ‘Nintendo are getting heavy!’.
Little was the world to know that more was to come from the fiendish mind of Handy... Just four months later, David Baxter was propelled to MEGA-stardom when Rainbow Arts produced Katakis. It was so good that the courts had to completely ban it. The seed had again been sown with CRASH’s sister magazine ZZAP!64/AMIGA/FISH, featuring the shoot-em-up on its cover.
How will quotes like ‘Human Killing Machine will knock your head off and slash your throat’ come from the mouth of Baxter without the genius of Handy behind him? We don’t know, but we wish both halves of the promotional duo a successful year.
ULTIMATE: PLAY THE GAME, one of the most successful and exciting software labels in Spectrum history, has been resurrected by the company behind the games; Ashby Computers and Graphics. Just over six months ago ACG bought back full right rights to the label and began developing games for it. The first Spectrum releases are due out in several months, and there is a strong likelihood that Jetman, and even Sabreman, will be featured.
Ultimate was started up by two coin-op game writers. Tim and Chris Stamper, with the ambitious aim of bring original, arcade-style games to the Spectrum. Their success was phenomenal and from 1983 to 1986 Ultimate lived up to their name with every release Smashed. Then came the decision to sell minority rights of the label to US Gold and the move to the village of Twycross where ACG could concentrate on developing games for the Nintendo under the Rare: Designs On The Future label. There were around 15 million Nintendos in the world then, and no software piracy. Since then the Nintendo market exploded into a multi-billion dollar industry in the US, and Rare are among its top games writers. In 1988 they invited ex-CRASH editor Roger Kean to their Twycross offices to give CRASH the full story. The break with the normal, ultra-low media profile was due to a desire to attract more programmers to write for Rare, and also the Razz board — the heart of an ACG developed coin-op machine.
Back in 1988 ACG denied they had any plans to write for the relatively small ST/Amiga, but this has now changed and all the Ultimate releases will appear first on the 16-bit machines, with 8-bit conversions to follow. Most of the games will be original titles — no Nintendo conversions — but there will also be coin-op conversions. This break in tradition is due to the fact ACG will be launching their own coin-op games in the US this month.
ACG now employ 43 programmers and are determined to maintain their unparalleled standards. Chris Stamper, the programmer of the original hits, will be doing some of the programming himself. CRASH certainly looks forward to the new releases with great eagerness, the Ultimate brand of mystique and sheer playability has been missing from the Spectrum for far too long.
We hereby apologise profoundly to Sinclair User for printing an article about the new SAM Coupe — last year. We didn’t realise that they had an ‘exclusive’ on it in their February 1989 issue. ‘Exclusive! ... At last! Details and pics’, they claimed on last month’s front cover. Sorry to say this but CRASH first printed details of SAM in January 1988! With a screen picture in Issue 50 (March of 1988!). Well I suppose if you took a year to get something it would be ‘At last!’.
So to prove just how sorry we are, we’re sending a stack of games to exigent editor Graham Taylor. What’s more, they’re on his favourite format: Atari ST!
Courtesy of Phil King ‘It doesn’t matter what I print, he’s buggering off’ Market Research
Ummm ... we can’t think of any. If you know anything the slightest bit interesting about Mark we’d be glad to hear from you.