Lucy's Letters

Wotcha matey-peeps! Ol’ Lloyd’s developed a yen to see the world (senile dementia has finally struck, I reckon) so he’s off on a luxury cruise with a massive supply of paper bags (I’m not sure if they’re to stick on his head or to be sick in). Anyway, taking over the driving seat in the meantime is MOI, your new Ed, Lucy. I’ve only been here a few weeks and I’ve already decided that CRASH is the light of my life and the centre of my universe etc, and we’re going to make it even better. I’ve loved computer games since I was a kid (in fact, I want to take one home and have it’s babies!) so I know loads about computers, life, the universe and everything really, and if I don’t know (perish the thought!), Nicko or Mark will. So, anything you want to know, say or generally spout on about, drop us a line. The address is: CRASH, Europress Impact. And don’t forget the £40 software prize for the Letter of the Month.


Hallo! This is Arnie Schwarzenegger writing from Hollywood to tell everyone to watch my new movie, Terminator 2.

Why? Because its brilliant! Ja, and you know why that is? Because I’m in it! Ho, ho, ho! Ja, das ist zehr gut. Oh sorry, there I go off in German again, I’m Austrian, you know. Of course you do. I’m famous. Ja.

You know how much I earned for Terminator 2? Not enough! No, seriously, £11 million, I think that works out at about £12,000 a word but I’m not sure because I didn’t do sums at school. I preferred blowing up the staffroom with pump-action grenade launchers and my Uzi 9mm. Ho, ho, what fun! I don’t know why I got kicked out. I still managed to become a teacher, though, remember? In Kindergarten Cop. Oh, whoops, that was a film; sometimes I kill myself!

I’ve seen some of the pictures of the Terminator 2 game and I’m quite worried. What if some little kid puts my eye where my mouth should be on that puzzle screen? Then I won’t be able to shout ‘Screw you, arsehole!’ at the other Terminator, will I?

Oh, sorry. Does that mean this letter gets a 15 certificate too? You know, we don’t have those in Austria, you English are so stoopid!

Anyway, thank you, danke schoen, for listening to my rubbish and stick around, ’cos I’ll Be Back.
Arnie Schwarzenegger, California, USA, aka Daniel Bridgland

Daniel, you’re a complete plank. Go and hit yourself very hard with something wet and fishy (no prizes for guessing what) and get some therapy immediately (although I imagine it’s far too late for that).


I’m 20, and a student, which means: a) I’m a bit older than most of your readers, and b) I’m rather more skint. This in turn means my ancient, rubber-keyed Speocy only comes out of the wardrobe in the summer.

Between ’86 and ’89 when ‘O’ levels and ‘A’ levels (and girlfriends!) banished computer games from my life, the industry underwent a major change. Most of the small software houses disappeared, while the bigger houses only seemed interested in arcade conversions. There were few original games and people paid more for conversions — £9.99 used to be expensive.

CRASH changed, too — no doubt due to the pressures of the market, but the old quality wasn’t quite there. Half the size, half the text had gone, and it was clear why. There was nothing to put in it.

In Issue 38, March ’87, the then editor wondered about the future for Spectrum computing, asking: ‘is innovation squashed out at the equation when corporations control the home computer industry? Let’s hope imagination isn’t sucked into the resulting Black Hole.’

I think it was. ThunderJaws isn’t much of an advance on Scuba Dive, is it? And that’s about eight years old. The only other Smash in Issue 91, LED Storm, is two years old and looks like Spy Hunter.

But CRASH is improving again. Issue 91 was better than the summer ’89 issues. I’m intrigued to see how many of the readers’ Top 50 games are golden oldies. That’ll decide once and for all whether they do still make ’em like they used to.

Computer games are no longer the most important things in my life (they were! they were!), but I’ll never stop playing. When I’ve some money, I’ll buy the top of the range Speccy, or maybe even a SAM Coupé and ol’ rubberkeys will retire to the wardrobe — permanently.
Glyn Evans

There are still some good, original games on the market — it’s just a matter of finding them. I’m afraid in many ways I’d have to agree with your points. Let’s face it, software houses are out to make money (who isn’t?) To do this they use big names which draw attention away from the lesser-known games which are often ten times better. As for CRASH — it’s the best (probably) and it’s going to get even better.


Here’s a rap about the best mag — CRASH — and a game that I really need. Here goes.

The best computer mag is CRASH
All the others I think are trash
Considering what’s in it it’s really cheap
And every issue, I’ll always keep
Here’s the main part of my rap
Please don’t say that it is crap
There is a game that I really need
I want it so much my heart does bleed
I can’t get it, not enough money
It’s making me mad as a hot cross bunny
I cried for hours and went boo-hoo
Can you guess the game? I’ll give you a clue
It’s about football and it’s really good
And because of this it put me in the mood
To play it with anyone who comes along
When I was playing I made up this song
So please, CRASH, send it to me
Otherwise I’ll cry like a big baby

(The game is called European Superleague).
Leighton Morgan

Bravo! Encore! Rap merchant extraordinaire! How nice to get an artistic groveller for a change. Since I’m a really, really, really nice gal (and anybody who disagrees is history), you get this month’s software voucher — I trust you’re suitably grateful!


One day I was routing through my few games when I came across Lords Of Midnight. After about a fortnight of constant playing I completed it I wanted the sequel — Doomdark’s Revenge — but no one had it.

Months later, I came across a copy of CRASH in my newsagents. To my sheer delight, I read that Doomdark’s Revenge would be on the Powertape in the next couple of months (hurrah). I bought it immediately and would like to reward you in some way, but since I’m short of cash at the moment enclose a piece of string which may come in handy.
Lee Rawlings

It just goes to prove that CRASH is totally brill and caters for every need (hype hype). Thank you for the piece of string, Lee. Unfortunately, hanging was abolished some years ago, which is the only possible reason I can think of for having a piece of string around here, but it was a nice thought.


I’ve made an amazing discovery! You can rig your Speccy up to headphones. Here’s how:

  1. Load a game.
  2. Get a pair of headphones with a 3.5mm jack.
  3. Plug them into either the Mic or Ear socket on your Speccy (Mic for high volume, Ear for low) and Richard’s your relative! (Or should that be Bob’s your uncle?) Anyway, you should now be getting Speccy audio power straight through your earphones!

Lee Clarke

Hmm, Clever Trevor or what! Okay, go to the top of the class and give yourself a gold star, or whatever else you want to give yourself.


Dear Sir
The commercial video game celebrates its 20th anniversary next year. The first one — Future Space — was designed and built by American Nolan Bushnell in June of 1972. He only sold 200 copes but by 1974 he had a winner with Pong.

Nolan then created Atari and a string of hit games, but it was the Japanese who sparked the video revolution. In 1977 the Taito think tank unveiled Space Invaders and the world never looked back.

The video game industry is still very strong. Originators such as Atari, Williams and Taito churn out winners and dozens of other companies release quality games which entertain millions in the thousands of arcades worldwide.

The games have been around long enough to gain plenty of enthusiasts. Many, like myself, have grown up with the machines and have let them invade their own spaces — ie, bought machines to play in our own homes.

I’m now urging video game fans to form a club, society or association for anyone who’s fanatical (or even mildly interested) in coin-op videos.

The club would inform members of game developments long before games appear in arcades, gather as much information on machines as possible to help people who are interested in buying and repairing games. It would also bring people with a like-minded interest together.

Anyone interested in joining should write to me and I’ll send them all the relevant information.
Steve Pagett

What a good idea! Thumbs up to you, Steve — video games are now a huge market and it’s about time they got some recognition. So, game freaks, here’s your chance to get all the gen on your fave games etc or get together and knock each other’s blocks off deciding which games are the best.


I’m a well-wishing, mutant perv merchant from Jupiter. I refer to the letter sent in a previous issue by Zob — the one with a craving for turning into a piece of paper and having sex with your hand. I find turning oneself into a bar of soap gives more sexual pleasure to both parties involved.

One disadvantage with being a bar of soap is you dissolve into goo before long — irreversible personality problems — I’m talking GOO-GOO GA-GA. So change back in time unless you want to eat baby food tor the rest of your life — understand?
CJ Perv

Yes, I understand perfectly. Now, since you’re a well-wisher, why don’t you wish yourself well away from decent, self-respecting folk and go back from whence you came, you filthy beast. In fact, Australia might be a good one — you could always join a soap opera. Prisoner Cell Block H, perhaps?


I recently read that Amstrad plan to stop manufacturing the +2 Speccy after Christmas. Is it true? Amstrad deserve a slap with a wet dolphin, let alone a haddock for their lack of support for the Speccy.

In 1986, Amstrad bought Sinclair Research and their only notable use of this has been the Speccy +3, which they killed off recently in favour of their CPC (which doesn’t seem to have done too well). Amstrad could quite easily make a Spectrum to knock spots off the SAM (not to say that the SAM isn’t a great computer) and I’m sure there are many faithful Spectrum owners who would buy such a computer.

Sir Clive created a computer that survived eight long and rapidly changing years, so why can’t Amstrad? But maybe it’s already too late. So what happens to the Speccy? Afthough software houses won’t stop producing games immediately, it looks set to be a gradual let down, like with the +3.

The chances of a golden Speccy rising from the ashes is about as likely as a sudden aerial bombing by flying pigs. I, personally, am saving up for an Atari STE. The Spectrum moves to the attic...
JL Sinclare

You traitor you! And with a name like Sinclare, too! How could you even think of deserting the Speccy like that? Bashing Amstrad with a wet dolphin wouldn’t be particularly constructive (and most unpleasant for the poor dolphin, I should think). No, the +2 isn’t on it’s way out, so ne ne ne ne ne! Abandon ship if you wish, JL, but they don’t call the Speccy, Spectrum ‘Phoenix’ Sinclair for nothing (in fact they don’t call it that at all.)


First, my +3 asked me to tell you this:

I’m a Speccy, as bored as can be
I’ve got nothing to play on you see
I need more games
£40 worth, I claim
That would make my day, probably.

Should I trade in my +3 for a Coupé? Would CD games load into it? (I have the games pack.) Is there any way of getting my disk games on to it? Are the big companies going to make any SAM only games?

I thought when I bought the CD games pack that some more CDs would come out! I haven’t seen any so far. Are CodeMasters planning any more? It was an excellent idea — I only wish they’d follow it up.

People are wrong to complain about the price of software. There doesn’t seem to be any complaint about music CD prices — up to £20 — which cost pennies to produce. I’m disappointed, though, that disk games cost at least £5 more than tapes.
Robin Haynes

Yes, why not, they’re damn good machines (right, SAM Co, you owe me one). Yes, probably (but test it first). Yes, if you get a SAM Co Messenger you should be able to save your Speccy games to disk. A definite maybe. Probably not.


Hello there

I’m a 128K Speccy owner and a very unhappy one at that! I’ve three worries to point out about the ‘WONDERFUL WORLD OF SPECCY!’ (how frail these words now sound)!

  1. The quality of Speccy games doesn’t reach that of the 16-bit world (due to graphics and sound), but programmers can improve on playability and addictiveness if they spend as much time on them as the 16-bitters. It seems when Amigas and Atari STs came out programmers thought the Spectrum was a bit crap, so they learnt 16-bit language. (They have no brains, do they!) There’s No. 1 off my chest, now for No. 2.
  2. Mr Software Piracy is zipping around the country again (naughty little fellow, isn’t he?), due to VAT (Very, Annoying, Tax!). It would help if VAT didn’t affect software. Couldn’t publishers put a protection system on some games to cut costs?


  3. These ’ere Spectrum magazines, one of you will have to go! I get CRASH and Your Sinclair. Sinclair User will have to go! There’s always millions of them left on the shelf! They increase the number of games to make people buy it, and it still doesn’t work! I feel quite sorry for them. CRASH is simply the best, better than all the rest, and will lead Speccys into the Nineties.

David Worsley, VIP (very important player)

That’s telling ’em, Davey-boy! Sock it to ’em! (Although I’m sure programmers will be a little bit miffed to hear they have no brains.) I’m sure publishers would love to make themselves VAT exempt but it’s not quite as simple as that. VAT men are like fleas — they’re a constant annoyance and they get everywhere. As to CRASH being the Numero Uno Speccy mag: Need I say more?


Many moons ago, I owned a Commodore (spit!) Vic 20, and although I enjoyed using it my heart was always for a 128K +2A Speccy. In 1989, I finally received one. What joy! I treasured it, cared for it and loved it dearly. But then I noticed the likes of the Amiga, ST, Sega, Megadrive, Nintendo and more. Had the Speccy been thrown out of the market to a life of mockery and begging? It appeared so.

I had nightmares about it. Was this the end? Then one day I found a Top 20 all formats chart and 11 of the entries were Speccy games! Next to this chart I saw a curious little mag called CRASH for Speccys only. ‘Yippee!’ I cried as I bought it, the Speccy was alive and kicking, with so many games being produced for it of such a high quality.

The Speccy is such a fabby ‘mature’ machine isn’t it? It’s cheap and totally brill, and as far as I’m concerned the 16-bits can hang their microchips in shame, because the Speccy is here to stay.
Wayne ‘Sensible’ Brown

PS Did I sound too excited? I get like that when I’m writing about something I believe in.

Now just calm down, Wayne, we all know the Speccy’s great but foaming at the mouth isn’t going to help. (Incidentally, I hardly think ‘sensible’ is a very appropriate middle name.) No, the Speccy is not dead — masses of letters a week confirm that. In its own way, it can compete with the best of ’em.

Okay peeps, that’s your lot for this month. Hope you all have a smashing Chrimbles (loadsa lubbly new Speccy games!). Keep the letters flowing and for next issue we want photos of the weirdest looking snowman (if there’s no snow, you’ll just have to be inventive!). Best pic gets a free game from the CRASH goodie bag.