Live Circuit

Ugh. Summer is all very well, as long as I’m left in peace in the garden. But sadly one has to take a trip into Ludlow for the shopping and sifting through the month’s mail bag. Why sadly? Well it is tourist time in Ludlow. OAPs, Birmingham bus tours and Americans arrive by the coach load, creating havoc in the streets. Actually, did you know that Ludlow is considered the fifth most important place to visit in England by the American guide books? That’s as maybe, but here’s the first most important place to visit in CRASH — Live Circuit!


Dear Lloyd,
After seeing Romantic Robot’s recent ads for the Multiface add-on, which is to be banned under the new copyright act, I wonder if this is really fair. I have used my Multiface 3 on my Plus 3 to transfer tape software onto disk, and it’s a very valuable utility. But it appears Romantic Robot have had to stop selling it because it can be used to aid pirates. To my knowledge any software I back-up using the Multiface cannot be used on another Spectrum — you have to have the Multiface for it to work. Will I really be breaking the law next time I use my Multiface to back-up software?
Adrian Hunt

The answer, under the Copyrights, Designs and Patents Act 1988, which came into force on August 1, is a most definite YES. You now have absolutely no legal right to copy/back-up a piece of software in any form. Though, I suspect, you wouldn’t end up In court over taking what is really just a sensible move. In the case of the Multiface, it’s against the law to advertise them as copying devices — though it seems it’s alright saying it is a back-up utility. The Act doesn’t really make it clear enough, and as yet there are no previous cases to act as pointers. We’ll have to wait and see. Obviously this is going to be a topic that takes over the forum soon — so get your opinions in as quickly as possible if you want to see your views in print.


Dear Lloyd,
I have often wondered how much games playing and computer use the CRASH team do at home. Could you please find out if they have Spectrums at home and buy games to play on them like the rest of us, or do they just play the review copies all the time?
David Waters

To tell the truth David, after a hard day’s slog over a hot Speccy, most of the rabble don’t want to see a computer again until the morning. But, tucked away at home the team do have their own faves and they are: Nicko has a Speccy and a Vic 20 and is saving up for an Amiga, Mike stays faithful with just a Speccy, Richard has an Amstrad PCW 8256 and occasionally a Spectrum (though it usually ends up back at the Towers when the office ones die), he’s also rumoured to have an Amstrad CPC, though he says he gave it away. Oli doesn’t own a speccy at the moment, though he wants one to play adventures on, but does have a small Apple Macintosh (just to show everyone else up). I have a Hermes and a cat, but they’re not computers.


Dear Lloyd,
Like the new look, but whatever happened to the personal ratings at the bottom of each reviewer’s comment? I think this was important, because then you knew precisely what each reviewer thought. I hope you will put them in from now on.
Simon Dibbs

Okay, they’re back! How’s that for supply and demand?


I am the only one with a computer in our house. The problem is I write my diary on it and save it — and then my brothers load it up and read it all! It’s not fair. If you could help me I would be very pleased. What I would like to know is what program I need, so you have to enter a password to get into the diary. Could you help me please?
Laura Powey

Sorry Laura, I don’t know of anything you can buy like that. If there are any readers that could help Laura, send in your suggestions.


Don’t forget the Letter of the Month wins £40 of software! I haven’t awarded a prize for a while because there hasn’t been one worth it. So let’s hear it from YOU! We want your opinions an any Speccy subject, especially the new Copyright law. Send your missives to LLOYD MANGRAM’S FORUM, CRASH. And sorry, but I can’t answer any requests personally — I’ve got enough to do as it is!!


Don’t look now, but there’s another football game coming your way soon! Eeeek! This time it’s Manchester United — The Computer Game, and it comes from Krisalis, the software house set up by programming team Teque.

The game is expected to feature a full club management system and a realistic football game. The player can be the manager of Man Utd, the star player or the aspiring (or should that be perspiring) player manager. It’s a while off yet, but we’ll bring you a full preview soon, before the game’s release date in November.


Andrew ‘Santa’ Hewson

Golly gee, so it is! The snow falling on the roof tops, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Mr Robin Redbreast doing his head in trying to crack the ice on the bird bath and Hewson about to release a Christmas compilation — The Christmas Collection.

Gosh, it seems only last month Hewson released its summer compilation, Heatwave! (It was — Ed). Anyway, The Christmas Collection, available October, £12.99 cass and £17.99 disk, features six smashing games: Uridium, Lightforce, Cybernoid II, Eliminator, Exolon and Hydrofool. Anyone for sherry and mince pies?


Activision have snapped up the rights to Ghostbusters II, the sequel to one of the most popular films of the decade. The film opened on 16 June in the States and grossed $10 million on its first day!

Mind you, the original Ghostbusters game did jolly well itself, and has sold over 2 million copies!!!

Force Field, the programmers who wrote Time Scanner, are working on the Ghostbusters II game which is planned to have four different arcade scenarios. Activision are pitching this as one of their smash hits for Christmas alongside Power Drift and Galaxy Force II.

Ghostbusters II, from Columbia Pictures, opens in the UK in December. Don’t call us — we’ll call you.


Yippee! The launch of the new ‘mega-Spectrum’ will be upon us soon — yup, MGT’s SAM COUPE is nearly up and running. From now on we’ll be taking a look at the final developments of the new machine. Next month we’ll be taking a trip to MGT to peruse the Coupe’s capabilities, but for now here’s what the beast will be offering:


It’s another joystick! And this little beauty is called the QS-118 Wizmaster (But you can call me Whizzy). It comes from Spectravideo, makers of the incredibly popular QuickShot II, and features three different control mechanisms, push button, thumb and finger control, two different sized levers, two fire buttons, auto fire button and computer system select button. Rumour has it that a kitchen sink will feature in later versions.

Out now, and a snip at £11.95.


Just because MGT are busy constructing Sam, it doesn’t mean they’re going to rest on their proverbial laurels. No sir! For here is another spectacular utility from the Welsh wizards — the +3 Diskmate!

It’s a piece of utility software running in +3 basic and adds a myriad (well, seven) useful commands to the disk driver. There’s BFORMAT which is a formatting routine giving an 80 track, double-sided double-density disk with 760K of space; DRVUSR a small routine to change the user area and drive default mode; CATALL sends a complete catalogue to the screen or printer; HEADLOADER allows the modification of file types; HEADCOPY reads a cassette based program’s header and informs you if it can be transfered to disk — if it can it lobs the program onto disk; BOOT forces the +3 into a reset within a program, and READER is a disk header reader which copes with any file type.

It sounds jolly useful to us and comes on a disk costing £19.99 from MGT direct.


Titus, who brought you the excellent Crazy Cars II, have just announced a new arcade combat game called Knight Force. Playing a mean looking, sword wielding, hero — The Knight of Thunder — your quest is to enter the time warp (it’s just a jump to the left, and a step to the ri-i-iight and past the pond...) and battle through five different time zones, including prehistoric, medieval and present day.

Knight Force features 25 levels in all, with ‘graphically outstanding’ backdrops of the periods, and enemies such as gnomes (?!), dinosaurs, skeletons, ghosts and an assortment of mystical creatures. ‘Fast action and ultimate game play make Knight Force the unprecedented creation in the history of computer games’ (hem hem), it says on this piece of Titus paper. Do we believe them? Do we hell. But the proof of the so-called pudding is in the eating, eh viewers?


Hello, Supes here. Look, awfully sorry about this, but it looks like I’ve only just been released, although the reviewing blighters featured me in issue 65. I’m from CodeMasters Plus, come on two cassettes and cost £7.99! Pity I’m only worth 57% really.


It most certainly is, and any moment now Domark are releasing The Star Wars Trilogy. It’s a three game compilation featuring the coin-op conversions of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi from the Atari arcade machines.

The trilogy is Domark’s first ever compilation and it retails for £14.99 on cassette and £19.99 on disk

Commenting on the pack, Domark’s Marketing Foxtress Clare Edgeley said: ‘Gerrowl, snurfffulem, rooooawwr...’. But then, she was doing her Chewbacca impression at the time.


There’s a fab new adventure doing the ‘rounds’ at the moment; it’s called Myth, written by Paul Findley of Magnetic Scrolls. It’s reviewed this issue and is a... find out for yourselves!

But you can’t buy it, nope. It’s free!! As long as you join Official Secrets that is.

Official Secrets is a smashing and jolly useful adventure club run by Tony Rainbird who started Rainbird Software years ago. Club membership costs £22, and for that you get Confidential, a regular 32 page magazine which mainly deals with adventures, but also covers simulations and role playing games.

Plus a copy of Myth on +3 disk (if you don’t own a +3 you receive the a Supreme Challenge compilation), and a copy of Gnome Ranger from Level 9 (if you have it already, you receive Captain Blood). And you get access to the Official Secrets Helpline, where they can solve any adventure problem.

And (gosh! what a lot!!!) there’s free membership to Special Reserve (normally £5), another club, which offers members games at very cheap prices!!

Official Secrets has nearly 3,000 members already and is looking for more. Write to Official Secrets for details. A wonderful service and no mistake!!!


It’s just like the number 63 bus — you wait years, and then three turn up at the same time! Or rather, two — and we’re talking about Light Guns (which have no resemblence to buses really).

After Sinclair’s efforts to bring a new age of gaming to our itchy trigger fingers with the Magnum, Cheetah (peripherial producer of old) hit back with the Defender, another new light gun, which should be released in September retailing around £25, £5 cheaper than the Magnum.

Cheetah are producing the hardware side of the Defender, which is planned to have a more realistic gun look to it than the futuristically shaped Magnum, and CodeMasters have the job of producing six quality games exclusively for the Defender. Yet to be seen, the titles are: Super Trans-Am, Bronx St Cop, Harrier Attack (a working title, expect something like Mig-29), Billy The Kid (a wild west shoot out game), Jungle Warfare (again a working title, looks a bit like Green Beret), and Advanced Pinball Simulator.

Top engineers at Cheetah have been working on the design and hardware for a year, with special attention paid to the finer details like weight, trigger balance and precision accuracy to make the gun’s ‘feel’ just right.

Next month we’ll be bringing you the full details, with news of the six CodeMasters games plus a smashing competition, where you can win FIFTY — 50! — Defender light gun packs from Cheetah.