Live Circuit

Brrr! November. Any day now bashing out words on the Hermes typewriter will become very difficult as the keys begin to seize up due to freezing temperatures. I’ll be hunting down that can of WD-40 before the month’s out! It’s the e key that usually goes first: bit of a pain as it’s th most usd lttr in the nglish alphabt. And it’s typical, isn’t it, you nvr notic that it’s missing until you rach the nd of a hug documnt and thn you’ve got to go and retyp it all ovr again! Anyway, on with th forum and a big thanks for your lttrs onc again — a ral bulging mail sack! Lttr of th Month gos to Richard Cordn who has a good solution to a rathr boring problm. The addrss to snd your mail is: NWSFILD, LLOYD MANGRAM’S FORUM, CRASH. And don’t forgt thr’s a £40 softwar vouchr for the bst lttr vry month!!


Dear Lloyd
I’ve got a brilliant idea. I own a Spectrum +2A and waiting for games like Batman to load takes years. My idea will make this time fly! Software houses could do a bit of advertising instead of showing a loading picture. Providing a service like Ceefax: they advertise different games giving a review of each, and if I wanted to read about a different game I could just press the space bar to turn over a ‘page’. This would help the company sell more games and keep me happy while the game loads. When the game has loaded I could come out of the service and play the game. Is this brilliant, or is this brilliant?! Why don’t companies do this?
Richard Corden

What a great idea! The reason games don’t already have this service is because you’ve only just thought of it! Here, have a £40 software voucher and a gold star for being so clever!!


Dear Lloyd
My son is always on the look out for combat, martial arts and boxing games for his computer. Recently he spotted a new release from CodeMasters called Pro Boxing Simulator. The screenshots on the back of the game looked impressive and so my son eagerly spent £2.99 of his hard earned pocket money and excitedly took the game home.

Imagine his disappointment on loading up to find that it was only By Fair Means Or Foul originally from Superior Software under a different guise, which he has had for over a year and was released around January of 1989. The only change in the game appears to be the main title screen where just the name has been changed.

I felt strongly that this game was being promoted unfairly. The packaging falsely described the product as a new release.

I am writing to you with the hope that you might publish this letter and warn your readers.
Roy Acland

Yes, it is quite unfair to promote a product as a new release when the actual game had been published before. This case calls for a bit of Mangram investigation and so I’ve been on the blower to Richard Darling at CodeMasters who had this to say, ‘Pro Boxing Simulator was a new release from CodeMasters, but it was really unfortunate and a mistake not to indicate that the game had been originally published with a different name. The cassette inlay has since been reprinted and now includes the information on the cover.’ CodeMasters is also offering to recompense anyone who bought the original By Fair Means Or Foul game and has since also bought Pro Boxing Simulator believing it to be a different product.


Dear Lloyd
Here’s a poem.

I love the games that we get free,
And the comps really score tops with me,
The time has come for me to speak,
And praise the mag I get every four weeks
CRASH is rad! CRASH is cool
In my eyes CRASH really does RULE!!!

Well what do you think? good eh!!!
Mia Beresford

Very nice.


Dear Lloyd
I’ve been buying CRASH for ages now and never once have my parents commented on CRASH. However, when I bought my last issue my mother said, ‘Nick, the illustrations on these magazines are always very good.’ I suppose I’d never really noticed how excellent they were. I then went and looked through all my back issues and noticed how good they all were. So, could you answer a few questions for me: Who draws these pictures? Does he draw them on a computer? Was he once a professional artist? Does he do the CRASH posters as well? Has he been at CRASH from issue one? Please help me Lloyd!
Nicholas Watters

Right then Nick, answers ahoy! CRASH covers are designed and illustrated by none other than Oliver Frey who also edits the magazine. The illustrations are first sketched out in pencil, the major colours are airbrushed in and finally the details are hand painted using inks. Oli still is a professional artist, and has illustrated for many magazines in his career and currently illustrates for our sister magazines ZZAP! and FEAR. He has also drawn Dan Dare and drew the Superman comic that features at the beginning of the original film. Oil not only painted the very first CRASH cover but actually created CRASH in 1984. For that ultimate Oli experience you can’t do better than the giant A1 Oli posters now available through the mail order pages (plug!).


Dear Lloyd
The other day I was bopping away on my computer when I had this sudden urge to turn on my radio. So I turned it on and to my amazement the sound from my computer was coming from my radio (100–101 FM). I don’t know if it’s already been discovered but if it hasn’t I think this discovery is well worth £40 worth or software, don’t you?
Neil Stafford

No it isn’t worth £40 of software. It’s actually interference.


Dear Lloyd
Could you please tell me why everybody who organises a computer fair always stages it in London. Why can’t it be in different places around Britain every year like the National Garden Festival? If something doesn’t change soon I shall abandon the idea altogether.
N Salt

For the answer to that, please give a big CRASH welcome to the organiser of the All Formats Computer Fair, Bruce Everiss!! ‘The thing is, 60–70% of people in Britain live with in a suitable commuting distance from London. People have tried to organise regional fairs, but have always been unsuccessful. This is because it’s more difficult for most people to get to a regional venue than travel to London.’ There you have it. It’s a case of not being able to please all of the people all of the time, but pleasing most of the people all the time. Erm... or something like that.


Dear Lloyd
Are there any programs on the market which can simply provide a BASIC listing of a game?
A Johnson

No, not really, as most games are written in machine code and not BASIC.


Keep sending in your Fave Raves — simply list your five favourite games and tell us why you think each one is so skill! This month’s hit parade comes from Glynn Jones!

    The most playable driving game on the Spectrum.
    Simple idea but very addictive.
    Brilliant graphics and so addictive.
    Graphics are not stunning but is addictive.
    It will drive you mad but good fun.


If you need help! or can offer someone help! this is just the place for you. Send in your problems or answers to the usual address. First bit of help! comes in the form of this handy tip from Steven Warner. Tell all, Steven! ‘I have found an easy way to get my +2A and +3 to load many old games which wouldn’t load before. Enter 48K mode and type OUT 32765, 48: LOAD "" (press enter). Start the offending tape, and the game should now load. These games now load with the command, whereas they didn’t before: Monty on the Run, Bounty Bob Strikes Back, Lunar Jetman and Marsport.’ Good stuff.

Next up is Scott Murphy who offers help! to Robert Davies (issue 80 September 1990) who asked if anyone knew any mouse driven software. Well Scott, what’s your answer? ‘Carrier Command (128K only) will work with a mouse!’ Super! Scott also says ‘Cheeseplant!!’. Hummm Spiderplant!


The superb solid-3D graphics system Freescape, developed by Incentive Software, is a fab gadgi, isn’t it?! Without it there wouldn’t have been such smash hit games as Driller, Dark Side, Total Eclipse or Castle Master. Next year Domark are publishing Incentive’s 3D Construction Kit which allows you to create your own Freescape games! T’riff, eh?! Domark claim that using the kit is like building with an unlimited amount of Lego bricks! You can stretch them, squash them and build whatever you like! Then enter your creations and interact with the surroundings and marvel at the animated objects you’ve created! The system sounds very promising, and well be giving it the full run through in a few months PLUS keep your peepers peeled for a special CRASH Freescape game, created with the system, appearing on the Powertape!


The Spectrum +3 is dead. The top of the range computer is no longer to be manufactured by Amstrad. The company made the shock decision last month, leaving only the Plus 2 in production. Launched three years ago the Plus 3 was aimed towards more serious computer users. A variety of business packages were written for it in a hope that it would be seen as a business rather than pleasure machine. Of course the people who bought it were not all interested in the latest data base or spreadsheet available, they wanted to play games, and software companies started to produce disk as well as tape versions of all their producs. So what went wrong? With 15% of all Spectrum owners owning a Plus 3 and disks being produced all the time why scrap such a success story?

The main reason seems to be the new disk-based Amstrad CPC 6128 Plus machine. Amstrad does not want potential buyers to have to make the decision between its new computer and the much cheaper Plus 3: the best way to ensure the new machine takes off is, of course, to get rid of the competition.

This doesn’t mean the end though, far from it. The Plus 2 is still a sizzling success and coupled with the Sam Coupé will take Spectrum computing into the future.


Jonny, Sammy and Paul, looking a lot like Big Fun, rough it up with a load of zombies in Beast Busters

Despite declaring the firm is to cease publishing Speccy games, Activision has announced two coin-op conversions planned for early next year. Beast Busters is an obvious Operation Wolf clone with its bolt on guns and blasting action. Three heroes, Johnny, Sammy and Paul (could it be Big Fun in disguise?!) pit their battle skills against an army of zombies. Through the ruined city streets our heroes trudge blasting all that moves, and if you’re too slow on that trigger you’ll end up in the same state as the villains!

R-Type II is the second release and it’s another mega space blaster. Like the original, your craft is initially armed with a laser gun, but bolt on extra weapons can be collected. R-Type gained a CRASH Smash two years ago — will its sequel do as well? Stay tuned!


A big warm, soft, cuddly welcome to the latest member of the CRASH team — it’s a GIRL (y’know, them things what are different from blokes)! ‘Big’ Judith Bamford joined the team in September and is Group Advertisement Manager, which means she rings up software houses and hollers ‘Give us your money!!!’. What does this mean to you lot though? Well, if you have a problem with an advertiser drop Big Jude a line and she’ll try to sort it out! Remember though folks, she’s a busy lady so before you approach her there’s a few things you should know:


Diaries at the ready, folks! Your next couple of monthly trips to The All Format Computer Fair (New Hall of the Royal Horticultural Society, Greycoat and Elverton St. Westminster, London) are scheduled for Sunday, November 4 and Saturday, December 15. Organiser Bruce Everiss promises the show will have more games on sale at knock down prices than anywhere else, and that you should be able to buy all those classic games from years ago. A SAM village is also on the cards with lots of new products and news for Coupé owners. Bruce reckons there will be over 120 stands at the show which opens at 10am on both days and costs £3 for admission.