Live Circuit

Before we kick off, a quick update on the Campaign For Mangram To Get A Shiny New Desk. Just one measly financial contribution this month: a 100 Dinar note (Yugoslavian dosh), thanks to John Gallagher for that. Thanks also to Shirley, CRASH’s Dust Extraction Executive (Cleaner — Ed) who attempted brightening up ye olde tattye desk with a generous helping of Mr Sheen.

Onward, ever onward. Letter Of The Month — a good sensible one from John Quinn who strikes home hard the piracy problem. For having a bit of sense (I knew one of you must have) there’s a £40 software voucher winging its way to you! You too could be a winner by penning a great letter. The address is: NEWSFIELD, LLOYD MANGRAM’S FORUM, CRASH.


Dear Lloyd,
After reading Karim Portess’ letter in CRASH, issue 75, I feel I must put forward the following points on piracy. Programmers spend months and months writing a game, which is then published. Lots of people buy it but even more copy it.

Therefore, the publishers don’t make any profit and the price of the games are put up to compensate the loss. This is probably why games which cost £7.95 last year now cost £9.99. So all that pirates achieve by stealing software is a price increase.

Consider this: Would you walk into a shop and pick up a game and leave without paying for it? Probably not — it’s theft. Would you go to your friend’s house and copy the latest mega game that he just bought? ... think about it.
John Quinn

Very well put John. But sadly, piracy already appears to have affected the Spectrum scene badly. The amount of releases is way, way down this year because people just aren’t buying enough Spectrum games for software houses to cover the cost of production. This is especially true on original games — these could completely disappear soon with just big name licences, which always sell, appearing. To this end, CRASH has teamed up once again with industry body ELSPA to run a series of anti-piracy ads.


Dear Lloyd
I think that it was very nice of you to give Iestyn Morris the game which he was looking for for ages — Scuba Dive. I also like the game from the issue 76.

Thank You.
David Dunne

It was nice, wasn’t it? Well, truth be told I can’t accept the praise. Scuba Dive was already lined up for the cassette when lestyn’s letter arrived. The result now is endless letters pleading for games which readers have lost — no more please!


Dear Lloyd
I would like to know the password for Karyssia III. Because all it said on the screen is Enter Password — What now?
Lewis Atkins

Once again for those who missed it — honestly! It was printed in the instructions — the password’s LOXA.


Dear Lloyd
Please could you send me all the back issues of CRASH apart from issues 71, 72, 73 and 74 and all the back game thrills on tape. I really love CRASH a lot.
From Mica

No. But you can get hold of back issues (while stocks last!!) through mail order for £1.70 per issue.


Dear Lloyd
I am writing to tell you why I should win the star letter.

  1. I read CRASH
  2. I think Y*** S******* is crap
  3. Same as S******* U***
  4. I own a Speccy +2 (what a surprise)
  5. Nicko is cool
  6. I want to win 40 quid’s worth of software
  7. I need new games
  8. I’ll hold my Speccy hostage
  9. I’ll beat up the Oli bug
  10. I enclose 100 dinar

John Gallagher

Bribery will get you everywhere. But anyone who beats up Oli bugs is automatically disqualified from winning Letter Of The Month. Be off with you, you young scamp!


Dear Lloyd
First of all I would like to say how much I like CRASH’s new image and the four free games (it’s wicked!). I now only buy CRASH although I used to buy those two other magazines (not to be mentioned).

Only one flaw though, probably because you have just moved to new premises, but all the letters were mixed up last month (CRASH 76, page 15). Never mind though, it was quite good fun trying to un-tangle them.

Keep up the brilliant work and don’t worry, there is no competition for a better Spectrum mag!!
Neil Morris

Yes, yes — move to the new premises, etc, etc. Nothing at all to do with me delivering the Forum way past deadline, resulting in layout layabout Markie sticking it down at 3.00 am on a Sunday, working by candle. Ahem.


Dear LM
Occasionally I pick up this waste of good trees that you call a magazine. I wonder at the mentality of your readers, especially when I see my 11 year old brother, who is glued to his +2 (which is surgically removed at bedtime). He can’t seem to talk about anything else except computer games, CRASH blah, blah, blah etc. He’s a real pain in the neck and totally unsociable. Plus, all the games he likes are violent, containing lethal weapons and killing people for points — not a good thing for impressionable minds. Anyway, why are nearly all the characters that you move about men? Surely women should get some representation in computer games? What about ethnic minorites? I hope that your readers realise that they are falling into the pit of materialism and that you are propagating ruling-class ideologies.

Yours sincerely
A green, pacifist, feminist, semi marxist 18-year old who’s fed up with her brother
Barbara Miller

PS. No offence intended
PPS. I like The Hobbit myself
PPS. This is written on recycled paper

Right ho, Babs (oh dear — Ed) you’ll be pleased to hear that CodeBlasters is releasing Green Pacifist Feminist Semi-Marxist Simulator soon (programmed by a lost Bengalian tribe camping in the rain forests (they sound very lost — Ed)). Maybe not. On a serious note, as much as CRASH would love to be 100% environmently friendly, the cost of recycled paper is still prohibitive (and think of the chemicals that would be needed to whiten and clean the paper to our requirements). And besides, CRASH isn’t printed on paper from trees in the rain forests but from quick-growing trees in Finland, — and currently more trees are being replaced and grown there than are required for paper.

There is a lack of heroic female characters in games — though Castle Master is an exception, giving you the option to play either a male or female character, and there’s, erm, Aliens starring Sigoumey Weaver and, erm, that’s about it really (Are there any more female games? Send in your lists). Besides, I thought young ladies loved playing with young, bronzed, muscley, heroic males dudes, in games that is.


Dear Lloyd
I am wondering if you can help me, I have just bought a Spectrum +2. But I have not got an operating manual (to help write progs etc) and would like to know if anyone can help me, I’d be grateful if they did, considering I’m in Germany and they don’t sell kit for the Spectrum over here.

Oh by the way I think this mag is Brill.
Spike Mingard

Anyone with a spare +2 manual, bung it in the post to us and we’ll forward it to Spike — there’s a t-shirt in it for you!

And that wraps up this month — more of your effusive thoughts next month!


Arcades news from The Sales Curve, best known for converting The Ninja Warriors and Continental Circus for Virgin. It’s launching its own software label called Storm with one original title and three arcade licences. The original game is SWIV! Take control of a helicopter or jeep and blast your way across level after level of hostile terrain. Tanks, helicopters, jeeps, jets and huge multi-part ’copters all want your hide (eek!). Expect to see SWIV in October.

The first Storm arcade conversion, around September time, is Saint Dragon. Taken from the Jaleco coin-op, you’re the pilot of a futuristic spacecraft shaped like a giant dragon on a quest to rescue a real fire-breathing reptile: six levels filled with alien uglies stand between you and your pal, but fear not — there are heaps of power-ups to enhance your weaponry. The other two coin-ops on the cards are Big Run, a teeth jarring rally racing game and the seriously cute Rodland. Here you play either Tam or Rit, two magic wand wielding fairies who are sent on a very dangerous mission.


After programming CRASH Smash Hammerfist, Watford based super team (or so they say) Vivid Image Design are well on their way to completing Time Machine. Play the part of a white haired professor who escapes brutal terrorists by going way back in history in his time machine. He enters several time zones, in each of which he must help evolution along its proper path. Shades of Back to the Future? Well, it’s an arcade/strategy extravaganza and we’ll be bringing you a preview in the next couple of months!


Watch out because Hagar’s about! Yes, that part-time lunatic Viking from the popular press and full-time lager lout (how does the Skol song go again..?) is soon to be unleashed on a Speccy near you. Hagar the Horrible will be released in September, and the game will follow the misadventures of this lovable rogue and all his motley friends. Programmed by a German team called Kingsot, The Software Business will be marketing Hagar the Horrible on these shores. Now what’s Norse for ‘It’s your round’?


After starring in several games for Gremlin, Monty Mole is set for media heaven. Marketing Trademark Consultant, one of London’s top character licensing companies, has taken our rodent pal under its wing. The plan is to make Monty an established cartoon character along with such greats as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto etc. But the first step will be to produce Monty Mole merchandise, so expect to see Monty Mole boxer shorts, toys, books, mugs and comics very soon.


Read all about it! Mark Caswell checks out the latest on the comics scene.

Marvel, £5.50, One Off

Mutants — people gifted with unique Factor X in their genetic make-up. Some use their powers for evil, others help mankind but are shunned by ‘normal’ people — The X-Men: Colossus, Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Ariel and Nightcrawler in this story. The line up of the X-Men has changed many times over the years, keeping abreast of the times, and they’re still one of the most popular Marvel teams around.

In this early 80s story The Purifiers, a fanatical religious group lead by Reverend William Stryker, hunt down and kill mutants. Our band of costumed vigilantes are prime targets, especially when Stryker kidnaps their mentor Professor Xavier and brainwashes him into murdering his ‘children’.

God Loves — Man Kills is a classic tale of mankind’s fear and loathing towards anything strange or different. You really do find yourself cheering the mutants and booing the Purifiers, a graphic novel well worth the asking price.

Marvel, £10.50, One Off

Marvel boss Stan Lee claims The Enslavers took almost ten years to create! It’s very pricey, but full of glossy colour pages with very natty hard cover — the sort of thing to ask for at Christmas.

The Silver Surfer was once a mere mortal, Norrin Redd, who to save his home planet from the omnipotent Galactus agreed to become a metallic cosmic powered hero.

In The Enslavers a huge alien ship threatens Earth. The Silver Surfer is plagued by nightmares where all his friends including his true love Shalla-Bal have been enslaved. He soon discovers this is fact: Earth’s heroes have fallen before the might of Mrrungo-Mo, ruler of the space fortress. Can the Silver Surfer save mankind and more importantly Shalla-Bal? Not bad, but ten years in the making?

DC, £1.85, One Off

This slightly thicker version of the Star Trek monthly comic is a tale co-written by George Takei (Mr Sulu in the series). The crew of the Enterprise are summoned to problem planet Datugad: For years it has produced Trimanium, artificial substitute for the Dilithium Crystals used to power starships. Years of exposure to the chemicals used in the process have turned the population into walking time bombs sadly prone to spontaneous combustion.

The plan is to create a test tube colony away from the infected planet, but a radical group on the planet’s surface want no part of this and take the scientific team and its leader Dr Kohwangko hostage. Captain Kirk and crew are powerless to help, but Mr Sulu goes rogue and heads to the rescue: Ms Kohwangko is an old flame of his! The inevitable flashbacks of the love story disrupt the story’s flow a little but the characters push doggedly onwards. Worth a read.

Another trip into picture strip land next issue!