Lloyd Mangram’s Forum

‘Do I fret and do I fuss? I do not! I just keep on snipping and pruning.’ Have you seen that Cafe Hag ad on the TV? Irritating little woman, isn’t she? But while it annoys everyone, can anyone stop saying that phrase over and over again? I think not. Anyway, ‘snipping and pruning’, that’s been me in the garden this month (it’s getting a bit jungle-like out there) and with your letters. Yes, some letters do have to be snipped and pruned (and there’s no point writing in to tell me, because I already know what I’ve done!). There are reasons: 1. For length; hideously long letters on the same subject can get deathly boring, make your comments short and snappy. 2. some points in your letter may have been covered in a previous issue. 3. Some bits just don’t make sense. And 4, Enor nibbles bits away. Ahem. Letters as always to: Newsfield, LLOYD MANGRAM’S FORUM, CRASH. There’s a £40 software voucher prize to be won every month!


Dear Lloyd
My brother keeps going on about a game he’s seen in the arcades called Mega Twins. He goes on and on about it and he thinks it’s really brill. I thought it would be nice if I could get it for him on the Speccy — at least it might shut him up! These daft Mega Twins are getting on my nerves. So. do you know anything about Mega Twins (it’s a Capcom coin-op, I think) and will they ever come out on the Speccy?
Sam Stephenson

You can stop your fretting and fussing right now, Sam. The cutesy leap-around Mega Twins will be popping onto the Speccy in the near future, courtesy of US Gold. Check out the Happenings pages for more information.


Dear Lloyd
I’m a very proud 48K Speccy owner and have been for seven years! I’m also a CRASH subscriber and I just love the mag! I think the games we readers get free are pretty brilliant, really. My faves are Super Stuntman and Dizzy from Code Masters (on Stuntman, type your name in as BIG SCORE for infinite everything!). The up-to-date reviews, previews and news are excellent, and Jetman’s lush too! Oh Frey’s artwork is bniliant — he could give me a few tips!

I think the SAM Copué is an excellent idea, but do all 48K games work on it? I toyed with the idea of of selling Simon (my Speccy 48K) and buying a SAM, but I couldn’t be sure of getting £199, even after getting birthday and Christmas money!

Then I considered a +D disk drive and interface but that’s still £130. Then my friend told me to think about buying a second hand +3 128K Speccy, and then buying a Multiface 3 for it. If anyone has a spare +3 computer by itself, no extras, for a good price phone me.

Which of these ideas do you think best? Bear in mind I want to do programming as well as have a disk drive. On the subject of programming, where can I find a good book on how to use machine code? I’m not brilliant at BASIC, but I want to see how code is used. My libraries are bare (not literally) of Speccy books so I haven’t got one yet! Also, in BASIC (understandable language), how do I get my own programs to load straight away onto the game without having an ‘OK’ message and pressing RUN?

And now, a missing person bit — or rather missing ad! This involves an ad I saw in the December 1989 issue of CRASH advertising a product called the Video Vault Upgrade to turn a 48K Speccy into a 128K. The last time I recall seeing this was around Issue 71, Christmas 1989 edition. Any idea if it’s still around? If so, how much money will I have to sacrifice to get it?

Anyway, queries and niceties over, now for a long moan about the price of games. I remember the good ol’ days when I could walk into the local computer store, carrying a mere six quid, and come out of it with a full-price game in my pocket, or three budget games, and still have money for sweeties! Now I can’t afford full-price games anymore — since the best are £10.99 to £12.99.

Even budget games can now cost £3.99 each. Why? Well, among other things, pirates! To pirate a game is like walking into WH Smiths, choosing a game, and walking out without paying for it! This causes people who run software houses to lose money and put up prices. It’s criminal!!

Well, I’m sorry for going on but I had to write this letter ’cos not one of my many letters, compo entries, Hi-Fire entries, hints, tips, pokes or anything I’ve written to you has got on to those creamy, white delicious (sexy!?) pages yet! I hope this one does!
Richard Stevenson

Don’t want much, do you? Well, I suppose I’m here to help. If you’re trying to keep your spending budget below £200, I reckon it’s best to look around for a second-hand +3, but do make sure it’s in full working order when you pick it up. If you fancy tampering with machine code, why not try the company Computer Manuals? They have a couple of Spectrum books on their lists.

To get a program to run automatically upon loading, when you save it, type SAVE "name" LINE 1.

The Video Vault upgrade to transform a 48K Speccy into a 128K model is still available, at the reduced price of £59.99. Phone them for full details.

In your moan about the price of games you do say ‘the good ol’ days’ — remember in the good ol’ days everything was a lot cheaper, but, you’re right piracy has pushed the cost higher than normal inflation. So, there you are — all the answers and your name on my creamy white pages (not so sure about the sexy bit).


Dear Lloyd
Some of these computer companies are a bunch of con artists. I saw the Dizzy Collection lying on a shop shelf and I thought, ah, five tapes for the price of three-and-a-half games. I rushed over, got my dusty wallet open and fingered out my life’s savings (actually a month’s savings) of £10.99. The games were good but that isn’t the point. The box was massive and there were two tapes inside. The box looked like it could fit five in. It’s the same with games like NARC and Nightbreed where the box fits the tape like a Scotsman’s kilt.
Paul Hutton

PS I bet this is the only letter you get from Scotland (Och-aye, the Noo!)

Well, I suppose you’d know all about a Scotsman’s kilt, wouldn’t you? The Mangram family tartan has never appealed to me so I’ve never bothered trying to fit in a kilt. Anyway, packaging: I thought you might have guessed that hardly any packaging, whatever it’s for, is not merely used as a container for a product but as an attention-grabbing device. Bigger boxes mean more space to shout about the product (and, in software terms, a bigger box makes the product look like it’s worth more than a single-library cased cassette, like a budget game). Don’t go blaming the software houses entirely, more often than not it’s the retail shops like Boots and WH Smiths that demand large soft-boxes for compilations, full-pricers and so on. But thank you for worrying about the world’s paper resources.


Dear Lloyd
What a shock (turns round in amazement)! I walked into WH Smiths today (they always get CRASH in first) and I saw the beautiful, stupendous July issue of CRASH. Right, I thought to myself, let’s dig in my pocket for a couple of £1 coins. So I pulled two pounds out of my pocket and picked up a copy of CRASH. Shock, horror! It costs £2.99. Well, I came over faint, I needed a glass of water or a couple of valium! But then I noticed two cover tapes.

So I thought to myself, the CRASH mob don’t usually let me down when it comes to the cover tapes (they’re usually brill), so I bought it. I wouldn’t want a gap in my CRASH collection. I rushed home as fast as my legs would take me (or should I say as fast as my car would go — within the speed limit, that is, as I’m a conscientious soul) and delicately removed the cover tapes.

While the first game was loading, I glanced through CRASH and lo and behold, my letter is in Live Circuit. Oh! What a bonus to have my name printed in my beloved magazine. Not the star letter, mind you, but at least it’s there. By the time I’d read my letter and your comments (very interesting, didn’t like the wet haddock bit, but I’m brave, I can take it) the first game had loaded — the demo of Turrican 2 to be precise. Must admit it’s good, if I can amass a few pennies I might buy the full game.

I played the rest of the games: amazing, they’re all brilliant. I thought to myself that if I went to a shop and bought these games it would cost me a bomb. So I’ve just worked out how much it would cost me.

You could class Moon Magic 2, 2112 AD, Hunter and A Shadow on Glass, albeit that they’re good games, as budget. So the price of a budget game is £2.99 (I know some are £3.99 but we’ll forget that for the moment). That’s four games at £2.99 each, which works out as £11.96, and that’s just for starters.

The two demos Night Shift and Turrican 2 I would class as £1 each as they’re demos, so that makes the running total £13.96. I would class Dragontorc at least £5.99, Cricket Coach as about £4.99 (could be worth more but we’ll keep it at that), Space Worm and Confused we’ll call £3.99 shots.

All together that makes, erm... (hold on, where’s my calculator?), WOW! £33.92, and also CRASH, which must add on at least another £1.50, that makes a grand total of (let’s look at the old scoreboard) an amazing £34.42. Well, that means I’ve saved £31.43! Amazing! I don’t know how you do it.

Then, at the back of CRASH it says the next copy is only £2.20 and one of the best Speccy games will be on the cover next month (my guess is Dizzy) with a map. I found it almost unbelievable, can you keep it up? I bet you can. Well, after reading all that I’d bet you say ‘What praise!’. You deserve it and I felt I had to write to tell you so. I now look forward to next month’s CRASH.
Mike Fitzpatrick

PS I’ve just realised I’ve mentioned CRASH 11 times in this letter. I’ll have to write to Norris McWhirter and ask him if it’s a record and I might get into the Guinness Book of Records

Really, Mike, I’m not sure Norris would be too interested (and I don’t fancy the barrage of letters from other readers seeing how many times they can mention CRASH in one letter). Norris is far too busy doing sensible things like timing how long someone can sit in a bath of baked beans, or something.

Thanks for your comments (blush), CRASH is an incredible barg only matched by the cheapness of its jokes (especially Charlie’s).


Dear Lloyd
Please can you tell your readers about a brand new tapezine out called Gamestar? I write and publish it, and it costs just £1.50 + 50p P&P. Make sure cheques payable to Graeme Coleman. Adverts are also required! Issue one, August/September 1991 out now.
Graeme Coleman

PS Tape’s includedl You don’t have to send a blank tape!

Sure, I can tell the readers about it — but you’ve just saved me the trouble (kind fellow). By the way, viewers, we haven’t seen a copy of Gamestar so don’t blame us if this Coleman character runs off with all your loot. Suspicious, aren’t I?


Dear Lloyd
I thought I’d write to ask your advice, as I received a Spectrum +2A for my birthday last week. I saw your magazine with the two free tapes and bought it. However, I seem to have a problem with two of the games. On Phantoms, the game loads okay but after I’ve played it the game freezes and then resets itself to 48K mode.

Also on Dizzy, I can play for a short while then Dizzy starts to leave a printed trail behind him and then the screens stall to flash through in rapid succession until that game resets to 48K mode as well.

Please could you tell me if there is any way I can stop this happening or have I just got a duff tape?
Brian Turrell

Have you tried loading the games in 48K mode? If that doesn’t work, try entering 128K BASIC, type RANDOMISE USR 0 (reset to 48K) and LOAD "" to load the games. Should be no problem then. Oh, and can everyone please take note of it; the amount of letters we have from +2A owners every month with similar problems is amazing (and I don’t want any more)!


Dear Lloyd
The cover tape on Issue 90 — ace! Nightshift looks good, so I loaded it up. After about an hour. I’d completed the first two levels and I thought to myself, I need more. So I went to the bank to take out a tenner, got on the bus and went into town. Shock! Horror! Nobody had it. Please could you tell me if I can send away for a copy.
Laura Pavey

Laura, don’t fret, don’t fuss — a solution is at hand. If you can’t get your local shop to order a copy, you can order one from us at the bargain price of £8.99. Make your way to the mail order pages this instant!


Dear Lloyd
I’ve written to ask your advice on something which has been puzzling me for a long time. I want to buy an Atari Lynx and I don’t know whether I should buy the original Lynx or the Lynx 2. Some of my friends say I should buy the original because there’s less to go wrong and it’s bigger. My other friend say I should buy the Lynx 2 because it looks better, its smaller and it’s got better controls. I would be grateful if you would help me decide.
Toby Rose

Now, listen clothead, you’re supposed to stick with the Speccy! I haven’t got a clue about the Lynx (though the team on our sister mag, ZZAP!, seem to like them for some peculiar reason) but in any case, it’s always worthwhile for a Mark 2 version of a machine to be released, they’re usually superior. Though, don’t forget about the Sega Game Gear (featured this issue), it’s a crafty piece of machinery. Try to win one in the compo, why don’t you?



James ‘Waffy’ Stafford doodled with the characters from NARC, Navy SEALS, Turrican, Total Recall, Switchblade and RoboCop and came up with this set (looks like a most delightful playing card deck). A £10 software voucher is heading your way James! Hurrah for that, eh?

I have sent you a very pretty picture (oooooh!!!) of some of those movie/computer stars that you are always babbling about in your ace computer mag every month. I hope that you can stick it up on your wall (so that you don’t forget that you’re supposed to be reviewing games and start watching EastEnders instead) without putting dirty marks on your lovely CRASH wallpaper.

I was reading Issue 90 and I saw some Multiface pokes for games that I have. Could you please tell me how to use them? Do you type them in on 128k or 48k or something?

By the way, in Ish 90, when Mike Fitzpatrick criticised the centre page poster, you said that everyone else liked them so they were staying. Well, I do agree but the only problem is that we’ve not had one for ages (two issues anyway). Could you tell Oli to get his paint brush speeded up so that we can get our bedrooms chock-a-block with colour again? Do you call him Oli paints?? Funny, eh! Don’t give me a wet haddock for that last crack as it was the best I can do (Slap! — LM)
James ‘Waffy’ Stafford

Cheers for the pics, James — but you really don’t have to worry about the wallpaper, Enor the mouse has already scoffed most of it. I don’t mind, I never did like the raised bright yellow flowers on a hideous orange background. To use Multiface pokes, you need a Multiface from Romantic Robot; instructions are in the manual. Posters are becoming more and more a regular thing due to the many letters we’ve had about them. Oli has already got a turbo-charged airbrush (with fetching go-faster stripes on the side).


Ting! Ting! It’s opening time at Ludlow’s favourite haunt — Celebrity Joke Shop. And the man behind the counter (wearing a rather fetching apron) with a joke to almost tickle your funny bone is CRASH’s art assistant, Charlie Chubb. Do it, fluid!

‘Have you ’eard the one about the man who went to the fancy dress party carrying his girlfriend on his back? The bloke on the door says ‘’Ere! What ’ave you come as?’ And the other bloke says ‘I’m a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and,’ (pointing at his back), ‘this is Michelle!’ (Michelle — me-shell! Haw! Haw! Geddit?!?!!)’ Ahem. Yes (be off with you). I think it’s early closing today, don’t you punters? if you would like a part-time job at the Celebrity Joke Shop, send your attempt at mirth making to: Newsfield, CELEBRITY JOKE SHOP, CRASH. If your ‘joke’ is featured in the window display you’ll get a Celebrity Joke Shop certificate (can’t say fairer than that).


Dear Lloyd

  1. Is the CRASH office a tip?
  2. How big is the tank you keep the wet haddock in? (Slap, slap, slap).
  3. How many games do you try out a month?
  4. How old are the Olibugs?

Richard Moore

  1. A tip? Oh no! Well, it remains vaguely untip-like for one hour after Shirl (CRASH’s Dust Extraction Executive) has been around with her Super Sucker vacuum and then Nick is most helpful in returning it to its normal state.
  2. Tank? Tank? You’re joking! The haddock’s well and truly dead (you can tell because of the bits that fall off every time it’s used). But to keep it moist it’s left in the loo (and touched up with a bit of Vaseline Hand and Nail cream).
  3. All the games that are featured in the mag (except, maybe, for a few of the naffer rereleases).
  4. The original Olibugs like Buzz, Hornz and Olioctopus (who have been a bit quiet of late) are over seven years old but new ones just keep crawling out of the woodwork!
  5. Oh, there wasn’t a five (it’s just that there so often is).



Dear Lloyd
I am sick. Not of the small amounts of games coming out, not of the speccy scene, but of people moaning about the small amounts of games and the Speccy scene! At least one letter per issue says the Spectrum is dying. Although I’m going to upgrade to a better cpmputer (hopefully), I will still buy CRASH. Also on your readers poll not once did the death of the +3 come up on the worst things. I just hope we get some good games this year!
David Sanders

PS The Kwik Snax music is better than the Rainbow Islands music.

You know what makes me really sick? Sticking two fingers down my throat, that’s what (’Ere! That’s a bit aesthetically displeasing for a letters page, isn’t it? — Ed)