Live Circuit

Problems in Ludlow, folks. Not only has the bottom half of the town been submerged due to the river bursting its banks, but the town bell is back after repairs. No-one remembered how loudly it chimed every hour, on the hour throughout the night! Surprise....! Too much of a good thing? But there’s something I just can’t get enough of — your letters! Keep sending them in, and remember there’s £40 worth of software for the writer who pens the Letter of the Month!


Dear Lloyd
I was thumbing through issue 72 of CRASH, and it came to my attention that all games reviewed regardless of quality, all retailed at £9.99 for cassette or £14.99 for disk. How some software houses have the audacity to publish such atrocious games and sell them at the same price as all the top titles is completely beyond me.

Imagine the disappointment of a poor little Speccy owner (all together now, ahh), who has just received a new +2 from Santa. Naturally, at the first opportunity he gets, he dashes out to his local computer shop with his last 10 weeks pocket money only to buy a game that when loaded up is about as addictive as a four week old fermented sock in your christmas pud! (You decide).

The point is this, you can’t go into a computer shop and select what you can be sure is a good game without either having played the game before or reading a magazine review about the game. If you have done neither of these, then you will just have to take a gamble and an expensive gamble at up to £14.99 a time!

Wouldn’t it be both a logical solution to this problem and an extra incentive for software houses to produce better quality software, to introduce a system by which every game due to be released undergoes a period of testing where the game is assessed for quality and is then priced subject to the results of the assessment.

If this system was initiated I am sure that you would immediately see a fall in the amount of poor quality software being published and a rise in the amount of high quality software being published, because software houses would recognise that a poor quality game is not worth publishing from a financial point of view.

As a result of this, you would see a large fall in the amount of new Speccys flying through windows on boxing day!
David Black

Nice idea — but it would never happen, would it? And software houses do test their games! But once they’ve spent the money producing it, they will try and get their loot back on even dud product — after all, they’ll have to finance the next game. The answer to your problem is simple enough — don’t buy a game until CRASH has reviewed it. Then, you’ll know exactly what you’re buying. And if we can’t get hold of a game you’ll know that the software house is obviously far too ashamed to send it to us — don’t touch!


Dear Lloyd
I’m writing this letter for the sake of the Olibugs as Oli so created them. And for the sake of Robert Western. I think that Robert is right. I don’t think the little, sweet, cute but peculiar Olibugs like bashing each other around. And how do you know they like bashing each other? I think somebody should create an Olibug fan club.
Nichola Martin

Olibug fan club, eh? Jumped up little furry pests are too much trouble as it is without giving them too much support! (Get down!)


Dear Lloyd
What I would like to know is if my solution to using a multiface is correct, as well as understanding a Poke.

Last year I bought a Multiface 128. But I could not figure out how to use it, so I swapped it through an ad. Then, reading a Crash Christmas back issue I had a brainwave to where I was going wrong.

  1. Load game in 48K Basic or Tapeloader
  2. When game has loaded, press red button on multiface to freeze the program.
  3. Press T for toll to get menu to insert POKE
  4. Press space and enter address and amount of lifes wanted
  5. Finally press ENTER

The main thing that confuses me is the poke itself.

For example: Bionic Commando — Lives: 34690, 0

Is this the address. Do you put how many lives you want after this number?

Finally is this POKE the same as above or are amount of lives already there?

Example. Ghosts ’n’ Goblins: Lives — 33352,01

Extra Speed — 33433,201

and can you explain this POKE — Dan Dare 2 — 53622,N
Mark Stevens

Right. Normally when DJ Nicko says LIVES he means infinite lives, so just enter the POKE as it is and you’ll have an endless supply! In the case of Dan Dare 2, where the letter N is insert as many lives as you need, up to 255. Okey dokey?


Dear Lloyd
Along time ago in a galaxy far, far away (well early 1989 in a computer mag) I read about a Spectrum Mega computer, called the Sam Coupé, it sounded cool.

It ran on a Z80B micro processor running at a stunning 6Mz. It had 128 colours and a magnificent Philips sound chip which had 6 channel stereo sound and 8 octaves and things, and at the back of the machine there were in- and outputs for everybody, and it had a massive 256K which could easily be graded up to 512K, the keys were soft, it had a brilliant typewriter keyboard, there were 4 graphics modes, and what I thought was the best of all, two slots at the front for disk drives, a bit like two letter boxes really! And the price for all this... around £150.

It was the best 8 bit computer ever, it even ran Speccy software! It was said to be out in April 89. So I waited and waited, but still no computer mags had put any articles about it in their magazines. I thought it must have been a joke until September. When all the magazines went Sam Coupé potty.

Now the price is £169.95. So, then I was Sam Coupé all the way! I asked my dad if I could have one for Xmas, and he said ‘Yes!’. So in late November I sent away my cheque and the Coupé arrived just in time for Christmas. I’ve been playing on the graphics program, Flash! by Bo Jangeborg ever since, and have managed to draw a picture of Sam (the cartoon character in the manual). The Coupé is great and I would advise every Spectrum and any other computer user to get one.
Kevin Millington

Dear Lloyd
I have just purchased a Sam Coupé, and I am delighted to tell you that it is a wonderful machine. The art package by Bo Jangeborg is particularly impressive, I couldn’t tell the difference in graphical capabilities between the Sam Coupé and my mate’s ST!

When I first got the computer, I loaded up one of my favourite Speccy games, Batman the Movie — and it worked! No 128K music of course, but still I was amazed. The game seemed to play with a slightly wider screen than on the Speccy, but it made no difference whatsoever to the playability of the game. I first became interested in the Coupé back in March ’88 when Crash did a special feature on this machine.

It sounded impressive then, and it’s even more so now. At £169.95, it is a steal, and I am sure it can compete successfully with the 16 bit machines on the market. I would like to see decent software support from all the major software houses, because without a massive software backing, this machine will be a failure.

But the Coupé does not deserve to become a failure. It is a technical phenomenon, and has so much potential, it could even become a modern day ‘Spectrum’, but more successful (if that could ever happen) if it has creditable support. So come on Ocean, US Gold, Gremlin, lets see some decent Sam Coupé — dedicated software on the market.

Yours sincerely
Kathryn Waidock

Dear Lloyd
I recently received the Sam Coupé and so far I am amazed with the performance.

Doing 0–60 in 1.5 seconds this little number is magnificent. The demo for this fantabulous computer is great and so is Flash! (the art programme), but of course you know that, you’ve reviewed it. (Sort of, well nearly).

TO NON COUPÉ OWNERS, USERS etc: Flash! brings together not only fantastic options and controls, but mega colour as well. The colour cycle feature and animation routines are just one example. However most of all the graphics and pictures you make on Flash! are the best.

My favourite drawn on the Coupé have got to be the ‘ASTRONAUT’ and ‘KING TUT’ pictures. King Tut is superb and the astronaut is out of this world. The arty way I can sum up the Coupé, Flash, King Tut and the Astronaut picture is by saying ‘the Coupé has landed and is here to stay’.
James Taylor


Dear Lloyd
I have read CRASH for ages now and I wonder if you can answer me one question:

On the latest mega Powertape there is a brill, trill, mega cool 3D game called Stars and Stripes.

On the info it says it was created using 3D Gamemaker.

Could you tell me who makes it (which company?), how much it is and where I can get it from.
Mark McCormack

3D Gamemaker is available from CRL.

Well — there you go. They like it! If you get hold of a SAM lets hear your views. The address as always is LLOYD MANGRAM’S FORUM, LIVE CIRCUIT, CRASH. And remember — there’s £40 of software for the best letter every month!


Arcade news abounds this month with Ocean not only picking up Shadow Warriors but also Data East’s Midnight Resistance and Taito’s Special Criminal Investigations (Chase HQ II). In Midnight Resistance you play one of the two stubble jawed heroes fighting their way through an enemy fortress picking up increasingly powerful weapons along the way. Special Criminal Investigations needs no introduction to Chase HQ fans: Tony and Ray are back on the streets, but this time Ray can shoot at underworld members from the car — and more!! Next Christmas, here we come, no doubt...


Just for you ’orrible little monsters who mangle more joysticks than we in the CRASH office have had hot dinners, Spectravideo announce a new range of sticks for 1990. Quickjoy’s are on the way and the plan is to release 15 sticks throughout the year, and with prices ranging between £10 and £40 there’s something for everyone’s pocket.


Virgin/Mastertronic recently revealed that they have picked up the licence for the Sega slash-’em-up Golden Axe. Set in a mythological land it’s three brave heroes’ quest to kill Death Adder who has kidnapped the King and his daughter. Our heroes have lost loved ones at his hands too, so this provides the perfect reason for hunting him down and killing him. Sounds hackingly novel...


Accolade don’t unfortunately have any arcade conversions up their sleeves, but they do have the Spectrum versions of two great racing games: The Cycles and Grand Prix Circuit should be zooming past the finishing line soon! While Activision, determined to make a noise, announce another excellent Sega product: Sonic Boom! Boom indeed — you and the world’s most advanced jet fighter defeat wave after wave of vertically scrolling enemy technology. And, hold the presses, yes, it would appear they’ve grabbed the licences for both R-Type II and Dragon Breed where you get to ride around on a dragon. A fiery feast indeed...


Oops, it’s B-I-G cock-up time! History is indeed in the making: apparently the kind souls at System 3 thought their latest blockbuster Myth — History In The Making was such a toughie, they included a helpline number in the packaging. But due to a misprint a Mrs Scoggins in Bognor Regis has been pestered by an army of little monsters ringing up saying ’ere missus, ’ow do you kill the dragon (etc). System 3 extend their most grovelling apologies...


Cock-ups are rife this month: Mark Caswell, and by default CRASH, is responsible for quite a biggie! Last issue he/we claimed that X-Out from Rainbow Arts was written by Probe. WRONG!!! Arc Developments are the gents responsible. Corky is now dangling from the Ludlow gibbet (what’s left of him).


Last issue, reader John Pallister moaned about the lightgun he got with his Xmas Speccy — it was no good. This was the Sinclair lightgun. Cheetah, who produce the Defender lightgun, asked us to make it clear that their product is not bundled with any Spectrum and that theirs works to a T — their faulty return rate being less than .0003!!! That should knock the spots off anything, eh?


It’s Mark (Corky) Caswell with a look at two old favourites...

Star Trek
DC Comics 70p Monthly

After mentioning the Next Generation comic a couple of issues back, a new Star Trek publication has come to my notice: new, but charting the continuing voyages of the original crew.

The beautiful planet Chronian III may look peaceful, but it’s taking all of Kirk’s skill to stop two warring factions annihilating each other. The Chronians aren’t Kirk’s only problem: a Klingon Bird Of Prey has just decloaked in front of the Enterprise. Onboard is Kirk’s old enemy Captain Klaa, on a seemingly suicidal attack, concentrating all his shield power onto the front of his ship. Kirk’s problem now is to find a way to attack from the rear. Rest assured that the crew of the Enterprise survive, but it will take all of their experience to do so.

Coloured, reasonable US style talk and action for aficionados.

Conan The Barbarian
Marvel 70p Monthly

The character created in the 30s by Robert E Howard has been given the Stan ‘The Man’ Lee treatment in this latest comic for true believers.

Conan meets up with Rasu, officer in the Turanian royal guard, with a tale to tell: a strange man called Mustafa upon becoming third-in-command of the army required undying loyalty from his officers. Rasu and friends refused, and now he’s the only one left alive. But it seems he won’t live to see the dawn — he and Conan are attacked by strange subterranean creatures...

Not as good as the early mono versions from the States. Colour is too insipid for the action muscleman.

Another dip into the comic scene next issue...