Live Circuit

The Campaign For Mangram To Get A Shiny New Desk is not doing as well as one would have hoped. The fund has raised the paltry sum of £00.04p (Those Who Must Be Obeyed didn’t let me keep last month’s £40 prize). Four measly pence, and that’s only from raiding the change pocket on the drinks machine. Any Letter of the Month bribes... erm, contributions would be most welcome. And so, onto the forum answered from ye olde tattye desk. This month’s Letter of the Month winner is Patricia Reeve who wins £40 worth of software! You too could be a winner by penning a great letter, send your missives to: NEWSFIELD, LLOYD MANGRAM’S FORUM, CRASH.


Dear Lloyd
That’s it, I’m fed up and going out to shoot myself in the left foot as soon as poss. Here am I, a reasonably intelligent and mature lady, who could tell you the chemical symbol for silver without looking it up, knows what ‘strange’ and ‘charming’ particles are (do you?) and never breaks the yolks of eggs. I can drive lorries, answer ten questions on ‘Mastermind’ and find a pair of matching socks in my son’s room — quite a competent lady you will surely agree. Well, that was yesterday. Today I am totally deflated, squashed flatter than a bug on a bat and with zero confidence. Reason? You — or rather you and your adventure game Karyssia.

Let me explain, for two (ish) years I’ve had a 48K Speccy, which was given to me with a couple of games. They weren’t very interesting games so I didn’t bother with that side of things and got on with trying to learn how the programming worked. Well recently two (ish) years of being poked and pushed about took its toll and the Speccy announced its retirement, so I cast about and pretty soon found a 128+2 (yahooo!!) with quite a few games to boot. Some of them were quite good, so I started trying to win, and got hooked.... that was in February.

Two editions of CRASH later, and about 40+ games further along I have yet to win a single game! Karyssia Part One is typical of my non-progress. All I managed to do there is find Ioinmar, pinch the mayor’s goodies (not a very honest hero are we!) and get lost, wandering around the woods meeting uncooperative brokers, rude bowmen, locked doors and dangerous lakes. Then you lot show me how it’s done on CRASH (April) and I can see how dim I’ve been. I guess you need a special way of thinking, which I clearly do not possess. Yours, One squashed granny.
Patricia Reeve

The special way of thinking is known as Being A Little On The Potty Side. This state of mind usually takes a few years of rigorous games playing to develop, though DJ Nicko achieved it in a surprisingly short amount of time. You are obviously far too clever, anyone who can find a matching pair of socks must be, so here have £40 worth of software, just a bit more games playing should help!


Dear Lloyd
The reason for my writing was to give this list of games that were previewed between May 1989 and February 1990 and until April have not been reviewed.

Please explain what happened to them. They are:

MayOutrun Europa
AugustGarfield: Winter’s Tail, Lone Wolf: The Mirror of Death, Bloodwych
OctoberVendetta, International Drugs Bust
NovemberBeach Volley
DecemberCrossbow: The Legend of William Tell
JanuaryCrackdown, Snoopy (this even has had a solution), Darius+
FebruaryEmlyn Hughes’ Arcade Quiz, Cyberball

Will they appear? Will they not?
Andrew S Collier

Right, Outrun Europa eventually became Turbo Outrun, Nightbreed is due for September, Garfield we haven’t seen, Lone Wolf has been delayed indefinitely, Bloodwych is here, Vendetta is ‘soon’, dunno about Drugs Bust, Beach Volley was cancelled for being a bit crap, Crossbow — dunno, Crackdown is out!, Snoopy and Darius Plus haven’t been seen, Emlyn Hughes’ Arcade Quiz is a while off and Cyberball is out! Satisfied?


Dear Lloyd
Knowing how clever you are (ha ha) I need your help in locating some games. Back in 1984, May issue 4 of CRASH you had printed a guide to Spectrum games, I am trying to find out if I can still get hold of these games.

  1. Inheritance by Simon Hessel 48K Spec
  2. Great Britain Ltd by Simon Hessel 48K Spec
  3. 1984 by Incentive 48K Spec
  4. Millionaire by Incentive 48K Spec

At one time or another I have played these games, but six years on, I don’t have any of these, can you tell me, is there anywhere I can get hold of them.

Oh clever one please tell me.
Martin Rollett

1984 and Millionaire can still be obtained from Incentive Software. Haven’t got a clue about the other two — can any readers help?


Dear Lloyd
I have a Citizen 120-D dot matrix printer and a +3 Speccy. My problem is that I can’t get LPRINT to work. I use the Artist II (on +3 disk) and a Kempston mouse to draw, etc. but to print a screen I have to SAVE it, reset the +3, and COPY it, with: Load "Filename" screen #: copy which doesn’t print the screen very well. What interface do I need, or do I need a program? The cable I’m using at the moment is plugged straight into the back of +3, in the PRINTER socket.
S Wilson

I’m afraid I can’t be of much help here, but anyone with some advice for Mr Wilson can write in...


Dear Lloyd
I get:

  1. Speccy +3
  2. Cassette lead
  3. +3 disks
  4. Light pen

You get:

  1. Educational Software (under 4’s)
  2. Fab game ideas
  3. Stunning graphics
  4. Sound for games
  5. You receive all copyright.

Richard J Moore (age 10)

I get: the picture. You get: thick ear.


Dear Lloyd
On the 25th December 1989, I received a Sega Master System with three games. The old Speccy was put away, and most of the games were sold (sniff, sniff). I enjoyed this new console, but after a while the games became boring, and I had to fork out £30 to buy a new game. Soon I grew bored of that, and became depressed. I decided to go deep into the loft, and recover the two year old Speccy and the few games I had.

I wired it up and loaded up R-Type: the enjoyment of games immediately came back. With only eight games I spent £1.70 on my old mag (which had changed somewhat) CRASH. Now with four new wholesome games, I played for ages. The problem now was what to do with my Sega, the loft found the answer. The moral of this story is stuff expensive consoles, when you can have a Speccy.
Simon Jones

Exactly — there’s more gameplay in Speccy games than you’ll ever find in a console!


Dear Lloyd
I would like to praise you on the formula for the mag. While I was on the dole last year, it was nice to be able to buy a mag plus games for one price, not only that but four games which help relieve the boredom of staying at home with no money for anything else.

Now I am back in work and can buy new games, I still support my favourite mag because of the good selection of articles, the silliness of Jetman (which has a cult following around my works) and the very helpful tips and cheats section. Far too often other mags are too expensive and boring, and somewhat biased in their outlook. Keep up the good work, and once again I thank you on my, and many others, behalf who I know are still on the dole but can still enjoy computing thanks to yourselves.

Yours forever a fan
Colin Skilton

Thanks, it makes it all worthwhile when you get a letter like this. And now this month, should anyone be going hungry at the mo, there’s a chewy bar too! In the future we hope to be cover-mounting Range Rovers for people who can’t afford British Rail’s expensive fares. Oh, and I’ve passed your query about the game Rockfall onto Ian Collier, the author, who has coincidentally penned the next letter.


Dear Lloyd
I’m writing this letter because I’m glad you liked my game Rockfall. My brother thinks it would be a good idea to have a Rockfall 2 with levels sent in by readers. Do you?

(suggested guide lines:)

  1. each level to be drawn on squared paper inside a rectangle measuring 64 squares across, 32 squares down.
  2. each level should be surrounded by outer walls and may contain any graphic you see in the game, but there should be exactly one main character one exit. Suggested backgrounds are
    1. all grass
    2. black
    3. grass with a random scattering of rocks (what a lot of numbering systems!)
  3. I don’t want to be a judge!

Ian Collier

Yes — why not? If you’ve got any ideas for a Rockfall 2 game, send them in and we’ll take a look.

Well, that’s it for this month, and what an interesting bunch of letters they are! Remember, be outrageous, controversial and intelligent — if you want to win £40!


Not content with assaulting everyone with the written word Mel Croucher (he of the SAM Coupé manual, many CRASH features and all round entertainer) can now be listened to on the blower! The Mel Croucher Computer Fun Line was launched a while ago and offers information and heaps of fun on all computer things. You can listen to his deranged ramblings by dialling 0898 ****** (calls cost 25p per minute cheap rate and 38p per minute at all other times). A new three-minute show is on-air every week and promises heaps of fun for all the family!


Just in time for the World Cup (Oh no! Here we go again? — Ed) Grandslam is releasing a footy game with a licence deal tied up with the England team. Players can select their squad from 22 different footballers such as John Barnes or Bryan Robson, and take the team through to win the World Cup — just like England will in a couple of months (Hem, hem).


There’s an exciting event happening in Hull on the weekend of June 30 and July 1 — it’s the Compute For Charity exhibition. Everyone from retailers to the big software houses such as Ocean will be there, and competitions from US Gold and Psygnosis are planned too! The objective is to raise money not only for the BBC’s Children In Need appeal but also for a donation towards the Portobello Scout Group mini-bus appeal, and to provide a computer for Kingston Special Needs Scout Group. Compute For Charity admission prices are £1 for adults, 50p for children and Blue Peter badge holders get in free! Doors open at 10am both days, so if you’re in Hull that weekend the place to be is: The Portobello Hall, The Broadway, Holderness Road, Hull.


The last two All Format Computer Fairs have been so popular that yet another is planned!! On the weekend of June 9 and 10 the doors of the New Hall of the Royal Horticultural Society, Greycoat and Elverton Streets, Westminster, London fly open at 10am allowing bargain hunters in to a computer paradise (as long as they’ve paid the £3 admission fee).


If you haven’t already got your SAM Coupe you can now run along to your local Menzies and check it out. Menzies, convinced that there will be high sales of the Coupe, have decided to support it while chucking the Atari ST and Speccy (!!!!) out. Awww, the rotters!


Following Dark Century (see previews) Titus’ next project on the Spectrum will be Fire And Forget II. As the driver of an all powerful combat vehicle you chase and blow the socks off a vicious gang of terrorists. But this isn’t any old vehicle you’ve got your hands on, because with a flip of a switch you take to the air and fly around. This all sounds great fun, expect a preview very soon.


Ever fancied building your own town or city, well very soon you’ll be able to do just that! Infogrames’ Sim City is coming to the Speccy. You become a Mayor/City Planner who must keep all of the people happy all of the time, and so builds plenty of houses, recreational areas and parks, but must keep crime and pollution down. But if the population isn’t already restless enough, Mother Nature occasionally takes a hand with earthquakes, tidal waves and various other natural disasters. If you fancy yourself as a bit of a dab hand at the DIY building game watch out for Sim City from Infogrames very soon.


US Gold have signed up Capcom’s UN Squadron, the one or two player horizontally scrolling shoot-'em-up battle against crime cartel Project 4. Pick a character out of three, pilot a craft out of three, then destroy the heavily defended base! Heavy, man...

Activision are busy bees too: hot on the heels of Ninja Spirit, Dragon Breed and R-Type II comes Atomic Robo Kid. Based on the Irem coin-op, it gets you playing a small robotic hero who must survive wave after wave of robophobic creatures. Where’s the spirit of glasnost?


Mark Caswell unearths more strippy delights...

The Spectacular Spider-Man
Marvel, 70p Monthly

From bats to creepy crawlies this month! Everyone’s favourite web slinger, Mr Parker. It’s amazing, the amount of comics available: Spectacular Spider-Man, Amazing Spider-Man, Web of Spider-Man and Marvel Tales (reprints of old Spectacular and Amazing stories) and the soon to be released Spider-Man, written and inked by Todd ‘major weirdness’ McFarlane. This month’s tale sees Spidey’s old foe, The Beetle released from jail with a not surprising fear of super heroes, especially a certain arachnid. A man known only as The Arranger wants the web slinger dead, but Beetle refuses the offer, and The Arranger is forced into contriving a fight between the two: who will win? Will Spiderman succumb? One of the weakest stories for a while. Writers seem to be hard pushed for new ideas. Disappointing.

Marvel, £1.05, Monthly

Movie Robocop 2 is in production, and in the meantime the further adventures of the No 1 cop of the future are here. OCP’s dream city is almost complete and Old Detroit is demolished to make way for Delta City. While the skyline changes one thing remains the same: half a ton of titanium steel with a human brain and computer-fast reactions patrols the streets. Robocop is after Cybex, cybernetic genius designer of Delta City, now insane. Robocop isn’t the only one who wants Cybex — mysterious Darkstone has brainwashed an assassin-for-hire and sent him to Cybex’s lair. Problems for both Robocop and the assassin appear in the shape of cybernetic apes. One huge specimen captures Cop and — well read it yourself! The comic brilliantly captures the grim and brooding atmosphere of Old Detroit — I just hope the second cinematic outing is as good. Script writer Alan Grant of 2000 AD fame, along with Lee Sullivan and Kim DeMulder, has come up with a winner.

Fleetway, 45p, Weekly

Old stalwart Eagle has just undergone a re-vamp. It’s now on glossy paper with more colour than ever. Pilot of the Future Dan Dare is centre stage again, sporting new uniforms, weapons and spaceship, the Eagle. Rumours have it he’s turned vegetarian — and will get married! Heroes don’t get married!

The weekly sports strips on horror, urban survival, and of special interest, computers: Computer Warrior pits your typical boy next door against real life scenarios from current games. Nicely drawn, — and a dangerous experience! Check this out now.