And now the end is near. Sort of. This is probably the last Live
Circuit section I’ll be putting together. Never mind, it’s far too
much like hard work (I’d rather be pottering in the garden at this time
of year). Yes, if you don’t already know — CRASH gets fat (once
again) next issue so all the bits from Live Circuit get spread throughout the
magazine. We’re not losing anything (not even Enor, who’s still
causing mouse-like havoc around the place). The thing is, everything just gets
bigger. My Forum gets its own section (but keep sending in your Bug Box
cartoons, I’ll still be using them in the Forum), and Hi-Fire gets its
own special treatment too — what we’re actually doing with it,
well, we’ll leave that as a surprise till next month (just makes sure you
send a photo of yourself, if you possibly can). As always there’ll be a
£40 software voucher on offer for the Letter of the Month, so keep your
missives flowing to: Newsfield, LLOYD’S FORUM, CRASH. I’ll see you
next month, same as always only a bit more of it.
The cover tape on Issue 87 (April): GREAT! Sat down, loaded in the games, then
I came to Anarchy. Even better, feeling good, I reached level six and
thought I was great. Along came my family, sit down, level seven, level eight,
nine and ten then things slowed down. The three children battled for position
at the computer. They even got up early to try and get there first. The Speccy
was plugged in at 8am and Anarchy was bashed away at all day long,
nothing was done, nothing was talked about only how near I was to clearing each
Well, finally last night (or early this morning), at 01.54, level 16 was
mastered and what happened? Horror! Level 17 has a bug in it. All that was on
the screen was a row of squares and time of 4,000. Then nothing, ‘out of
time’ kept coming up. Oh, the moans and groans, seven lives and stuck.
All of them now moping around the house suffering Anarchy withdrawal
You can picture the scene: blank TV, cold Speccy, empty table. What I am
complaining about? I can actually sit at the table in peace now for that cup of
coffee. It is a long, long time since all three children (four including
Mejall) have played the same game and enjoyed it for such long periods at a
time, and all four of us with high blood pressure. Thanks to CRASH for a great
Oh, by the way, the ages of the children range from 20 years to 25 years
(you can guess by that, I am not 21). Joy Cooper
Anarchy, funny little game. Looks a bit naff, but just
can’t let go. A bit like Beverly Hills 90210 on the telly,
isn’t it (roll on the new series in the autumn, eh viewers?)? I
don’t know what could have gone wrong wiith level 16. I wasn’t
aware of any bugs in the program (maybe your Speccy just had enough after being
switched on since 8.00 in the morning!). However, because you obviously have
such a dedicated gamesplaying household, here, have a £40 software voucher
(your family’ll never get a meal served up to them again when you get
stuck into the next batch of games!).
While looking over my March issue of CRASH, I became curious, while
reading page 41, to know two things:
How many copies of a full price game would a chart-topping game sell for
each of the particular formats (especially Spectrum)?
How much money does the programmer receive for his work if it were a
Joseph C Tervit
While looking over my March issue I became curious too: Why
haven’t I been paid for this yet?, I thought. Hummm. Anyway, your
It varies throughout the year how many games have to be sold to reach the
coveted Number One spot in the charts, but undoubtably the biggest seller is
the Christmas Number One. Last year it was Imageworks’ Teenage Mutant
Hero Turtles which, to date, has sold over 100,000 copies on the Spectrum
(with a total of 600,000 copies across all computers). Turtles was an
exceptional seller, most Speccy games sell around the 20,000 mark.
Freelance programmers are usually paid an advance sum of cash at the
beginning of the project (ie, when they begin programming a game) which depends
on how long the game is likely to take and then have royalty payments
(8–12% of the retail price) on top of that when the game’s on sale.
In-house programmers have a basic salary (which varies due to age and
experience) and sometimes receive royalties too. Though, don’t be fooled,
it’s not the easiest way to get rich quick. In fact, hardly anyone has
got rich quick from programming.
CONFUSED? (YOU WILL BE)
How’s things? What’s life like up your way? Just writing to give
you a few comments on this month’s, May, cover tape. Well, the games are
honestly pretty good but, I must admit, you have excelled yourselves with
Countdown To The Death.
It’s been some time since I was hooked on a game, but this one has got
to me hook, line and sinker. It’s very cleverly done, isn’t it? All
those mini-games packed into one game. Hangman — simple,
Fruit Machine — okay, Arkanoid-effort — simple,
Memory thing — a bit of a headbanger, Repeat It —
one to think about. Okay, I’ve got through all of them but then I hit
what you call mystery games. I don’t know what to do with it (or is it
‘them’?). Egyptian hieroglyphics — all they do is gobble up my time
and what are the oojies along the bottom? Time, lose a life, go to
After all that here is a bit of constructive criticism:
You could do with a few more pokes on the tape.
The Hi-Fire thingy is a bit of a farce, why don’t you kick it into
A football manager sim game wouldn’t go amiss on the cover tape.
The centrefold poster is a waste of space.
Things are fine, life is good (except that Enor the mouse has
started gnawing at the plant shoots I’m trying to bring on in the office
window box). Countdown To The Death was a bit on the spiffy side,
you’re right. And don’t ask me what all the odd games are, I get
just as confused. However, you’re right about the so-called oojies on the
bottom (just stay clear of the lose-a-life icon). And your questions answered
(everyone’s numbering questions now!)...
More pokes on tape? We try to cram as much in as possible, but
there’s only a limited space and some pokes take up more memory than
It’s not a farce. A farce is a crap play on a West End stage which,
when everyone’s clothes have fallen off, the vicar walks in (and the
audience collapse in hysterics). This doesn’t happen in Hi-Fire
(it’s usually the bishop). Anyway, look for a few changes to Hi-Fire next
There are enough footy management games around at the moment without
putting one on the tape (we try to be slightly original). Why not give
Cricket Coach a try, that may be up your games-playing alley.
Judging from the Crashtionnaire, most people loved the centrefold posters
featuring Oli’s artwork, so they’re staying. Here, have a wet
haddock for being so miserable (slap!).
WHY, OH, WHY, OH, WHY? (BLAM!)
Here are some questions.
What are the Olibugs?
Why is CRASH called CRASH? Is it because if you read it, you make your
Why did Amstrad buy Sinclair?
How is CRASH so skill?
How can you program on the likes of a Nintendo if there isn’t a
Can you send requests to Turbo Mason to hack certain games?
On the inlay for Rock Star it says (in the credits bit),
‘Hack: Mel Croucher’. Does this mean there is a cheat for it? (And
what’s Mel Croucher doing hacking at games anyway?)
I have a tip for +2A users. On Treasure Island Dizzy, if you try
to load it in 128K mode you hear a loud, steady beep, and it crashes. However,
if you go to +3 BASIC, (or 128 BASIC for +2 users), then type SPECTRUM (enter),
it goes into 48K mode. But, in this 48K mode, you have 128K. So, when it
has loaded, there is in the game music and speech (although not very good),
and all the rest 128K luxuries that you would not have in normal 48K modes.
Olibugs, who make occasional appearances, are small monsters who live in
the CRASH office. In walls, lampshades and computers (which they muck about
with until they blow up). They’re mostly harmless; except for the black
fluffy one which has an affinity for chainsaws (bibble, bibble, wibble).
It’s called CRASH because it’s a dam sight more imaginative
(and groovy, for that matter) than taking the word Sinclair and sticking Your
or User to the beginning or end of it. Okay?
Because Amstrad know a good computer when they sees one (probably).
Because I’m in it.
Nintendo programmers have a special development system, which is not
available to the public (so don’t write in asking where you can buy one).
No (well, you could try).
Nothing to do with hacking at all — hack’s another word for
writer (although meant in a bitchy kinda way) and Mel wrote the manual.
WET HADDOCK, AHOY!
I have a Spectrum 128K +2, a computer which I have just bought. Please could
you tell me if there is such a thing as a colour/graphics enhancement
board/chip which you can stick in the back of your Speccy. It’s really
depressing having a computer with only seven or eight colours, no orange or
pink or millions of other colours like that.
Also, can you get such a thing as a half meg expansion and a modulator which
you can stick a disk drive onto and load Amiga games? If you can’t get
any of these things then someone get designing — they’ll make a
fortune. Philip Lancaster
Slap! Slap! Slap! Three slaps of the wet haddock for you,
Philip. Listen, you clot, the only machine that’ll load Amiga games is
— quelle suprise — an Amiga. There’s no way of getting one to
work on a Speccy. Go and have a good lie down, why don’t you?
Just a few lines to say thanks to the staff in the CRASH tape clinic. I
sent them three tapes on Thursday 2nd May (second class, ’cos I’m
skint) and got them back bouncing with health by 8am, Tuesday 5th May.
Fantastic! A Swartman
Hurrah! I’m sure this’ll cheer Pat up —
she’s the eternally cheery lady, deep in the CRASH cellars, who sorts the
Powertapes out. And does she grumble? Well. yes she does, but no-one ever
takes any notice.
GRAB A BAG?
When your CRASH (Issue 88) Powertape came through my door I loaded up
the spiffing game Tour De Force. Within a hour of playing it I’d
got to Russia, drunk a load of vodka and won the game. It told me to start the
tape; I did, and it gave me a rather nice screen with a secret code on it. The
screen told me that if I was one of the first ten people to tell Gremlin
the codeword then I’d get a Gremlin goody bag, So, did I? Also,
would Nick like me to send him a few tips to help other people on their
way? Graham Martin
PS The code word was OSTRICH
Yes, you and about 500 other people all hoping to win a goodie
bag for being the first ten to complete Tour De Force. Problem is,
the game was originally available a few years ago in the shops and I have the
sneaking suspicion that all ten goodie bags have been claimed. Never mind,
here’s your little bit of fame and I’ve also included the first
batch of people who wrote in claiming to have completed the game in
I would like you to answer me these few questions, if it’s not any
Do you read every letter you are sent?
Do you reply to every letter you are sent?
If I sent a letter requiring information about some computer games, would
you help me with the problems?
How much is and what is a Multiface?
Is it true that Amstrad are stopping producing Sinclair Spectrum +2s?
If I sent a few ideas for games would you do me a favour and pass them onto
Code Masters, as I have got about ten different ideas.
No trouble at all!
Yes, every one.
No, I can only reply to the one’s printed here. Sorry, but I’m
far too busy with the magazines (I also write on ZZAP! 64 magazine) to
enter into personal correspondence. This upsets Aunt Ada, but that’s
If you need help with computer games, it’s always best to write to
the software house that published the game. Addresses can usually be found on
It’s a snapshot device (see the Romantic Robot ad) and costs between
£30 and £40. depending on which model you buy.
You can contact Codies directly.
Help! Is there anything on the market for a cover (of sorts) to protect the
Spectrum +2A? We got one for Xmas for our little boy, Marc (who’s eight
years old), and every chance his baby sister (18 months) gets, she’s
going for the machine (perhaps she’s more advanced than we think and
wants to play your great Powertape games). Anyway, could you help us,
we’d be very grateful (plus it would cut down on arguments, shouting,
whining and crying in the house). Mrs J Mallaby
Actually, we can supply you with dust covers for your Speccy
(they’ve even got CRASH written on them!). They cost £4.99 —
just give us a call, ask for the Mail Order department, and they’ll tell
you what’s in stock. Helpful, eh?
VAT’S LIFE! (HO! HO!)
I have been reading CRASH since Issue 73 and have been a silent reader. In my
local WH Smiths stores £2.99 games have been changed to £3.05 and
£3.99 games are now £4.09. In my local Boots store the prices are
still £2.99 and £3.99. Why is Smiths more expensive? David Pegg
That’s VAT for you, David. The government slapped the VAT
up to a whopping 17.5% this year which means most prices still go up (though
some budget software houses are trying to absorb the extra cost to keep the
retail prices to £2.99). Though, expect to see £3.99 games becoming
HEROQUEST: IT’S BACK (SORT OF)!
So, you’ve already completed all ten quests of
Gremlin’s CRASH Smash HeroQuest? Bah! Now what? How about
a HeroQuest Quest pack? It’s a mighty fine buy (and a snip at
£5.99). The first Quest pack, featuring ten new quests, is called
Return of the Witch Warlord, due for release any time now The second
pack-of-ten, Keller’s Keep, will follow shortly. Further heroic
details can be gleamed by giving Gremlin a buzz.
Ugh! What an unpleasant thought. But, let’s not dwell upon
dangly bits, instead refresh your memory of Domark’s spiffy
baseball game RBI 2, reviewed last issue with an appreciative 86%. A
much better thought to have inside your head, is it not?
And talking of imagination, everyone’s imagination ran away with them
last issue in the review. For a start, the disk version retails for
£17.99, not £14.99 as the review stated (we thought we must have
taken a wrong turning and arrived in Bargain City).
And the usually brilliant powers of organisation enjoyed by
CRASH’s chum at Domark, Clare Edgeley, resulted in us
believing that an RBI 2 baseball cap was enclosed in the box. It
isn’t. That’s only for 16-bit owners (who have to pay £25 for
their RBI 2).
But (but! BUT!) if you want to have a RBI 2 baseball cap, you can! Just
stick a cheque or postal order for £2.99 (payable to Domark Ltd) in the
post to: Domark, CRASH Baseball Cap Offer, Domark and a cap will be in
the post (as long as you remember to include your name and address).
To make up for those errors, here’s news of a Domark game for
1992. It’s called Euro Football Champ and is taken from the
Taito coin-op. A one- or two-player affair, Euro Football Champ
lets you take control of an international soccer team and play matches against
other international sides with the action viewed from the grandstand. Should
be lots of fun, especially as it’s possible to purposely knee, kick or
elbow other players and get away with it (if the ref’s not looking).
Hope that piece of ‘exciting’ news makes up for any shattered
illusions from the RBI 2 review. (It didn’t, it’s a swizz!
— Reader’s voice.) Oh, please yourselves.