Submitted by Dan Dooré on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - 11:45.
|Magazine||News, CM's Northern Sam and Speccy Show Show Reports|
|Letters||Ffl, Momentum Review|
|RGB Demo||Martijn Groen||M/C Demo|
|Big Gunz||John Thrower||Shoot 'Em Up|
|Epicentre||Darren Martin||Text Rpg Adventure|
|Modules||Stewart Skardon||Amiga Modules|
|'The' Interview||Colin Anderton||With Terry Ekins|
|'The' Show Report||Colin Anderton Stewart Skardon||Show Report of Northern Sam and Speccy Show|
|Ffl!||Colin Anderton||Fantasy Fred League|
CA Editorial Damn Fresher's fortnight! Damn it to Hell and back. You won't believe me, but I started this issue of FRED early! A week early in fact. And then God said, "Let there be Fresher's fortnight!" "Doh!", as Homer Simpson would say. How clever I was writing the editorial two weeks in advance. How clever, but for one problem. Some people came up early and I was drawn in by the temptation of going out rather than staying in and programming (tough choice though...) Anyway, to cut a long story short, it's three weeks later and I've spent all the money I don't have, lost £50 because of a stupid bank machine and now I've decided to sit back down with my bottle of vodka wrapped in a brown paper bag and my scraps of food and earn some money. Jeez, life's a bitch. CA Editorial My SAM is now sitting in my bedroom because, rather fortunately, I managed to find two comfy chairs a couple of nights ago (blimey, what a night). So now I can relax and type until my hearts content (or until I get that nasty wrist injury). Currently, I'm preparing for the SAM and Speccy show in Leeds. You may think that I just wake up on the Saturday morning, catch any old train and turn up (probably late). Heck no. There's a lot of preparation goes into being at a show. For example, tommorow, I'll be printing off some more £5 FRED vouchers, ready to sell for just £1 each when Colin goes off to the pub or to chat up Bob's daughter. They sold like British Beef last time, so I'm going to have to advertise this time. You also have to think carefully about what to wear. You see, last time, I made a bit of a mistake. Thinking I'd be wearing my FRED jumper all day, it never occured to me that it'd matter what I wore underneath. However, when it got a bit warm, I had to take the jumper off. Underneath was my Lincoln City top, CA Editorial which I'm very proud of, but unfortunately turned the conversation away from how good SAM C is and to taking the p**s out of Anderton. I hope that Tim Paveley chap burns in hell (he thinks he can say what he likes just because he wrote EGGBuM for FRED years back - top game though (plug, plug)). This year, I think I'll be sensible and wear my "I Love John Major Because He's Right About Everything" top. That should stop any comments being made... I've also got to ring a few SAM friends up and ask them to drag me off at certain times to the pub. Colin MacD will look in amazement when he sees what a first class performance they make of forcing me to go with them (and won't see me buying them a drink). I've also got to spend the regulation 17 hours in front of the mirror practising selling stuff that's not worth it's weight in bricks. Only joking, FRED provides quality software that will CA Editorial still retain its enjoyment months after purchase (wow, this practising really helps!). The final job I have to do is forge a train ticket for £75. This isn't because I'm going to use it to illegally dodge paying my train fare. Oh no. It's the ticket that I show Colin when he offers to pay my expenses! You should become employed for FRED at these shows, they're such money spinners. So anyway, if anyone wants to purchase any £5 FRED vouchers at the Gloucester show, just pretend you're going to buy issue 62 of FRED and say, "I thought I'd buy this because of the well manufactured disc." Meanwhile, there's probably a review of the show coming up soon (that's a bit wierd, isn't it?) CA E-Mail... As a new school year comes along, young children have their photos taken in their nice new school uniforms, the streets are free from arrogant little sods during the day and Colin Anderton gets a new e-mail address. "New?" you say. "Yes, new" I reply. The only way I could have kept my old one was by paying associative hall fees, which are FIFTEEN quid. No thanks. The problem was that the maths e-mail program was pretty dire and it's a bit sad to have the word maths in your e-mail address. Well, this year, the maths department have sorted themselves out and we've got a decent e-mail proggy. I'm still stuck with the word maths in my address, but what the heck, eh? You only live once. [redacted] E-mail me with amusing anecdotes, relevant news, ARTICLES FOR FRED, letters, information or just abuse me senselessly. CA All Change? When you're as intelligent as me (!), ideas whizz round in your brain at a billion miles an hour. This generally occurs in really boring lectures (which is pretty much all of them). The other day, I was thinking, "Col, what are you going to write in FRED this month? Shall we make something up? No, I'm crap at lying. What's happened? Nothing SAM relevant. Oh God, I hate thinking. When's this lecture going to end?" The point being I'm not very interesting. Clearly no-one cares if I've moved into a new house (though they should). So, I've had a few ideas. I've thought of ways of changing FRED. Nothing drastic, but the plan is to cut the crap and make it a bit more structured. This means having regular sections in both the editoral and letters sections. The ideas I've had are listed overleaf. CA All Change? Editorial section EDITORIAL - Shortened version of what's already there NEWS - The news section ARTICLES - Computer related articles (hello readers...) WHAT'S NEW? - Brief run-down of all the new releases/issues of things in the SAM world. HAYLP! - Hints/tips section (SAM and Spectrum) FFL! - Fantasy FRED League update CONTENTS - Disc Contents THANKS - Thankyou ARTICLES - Non-computer related articles Letters section LETTERS - Your letters REVIEWS - Reviews of SAM software/hardware/magazines MAILBOX - E-mail and postal addresses of important people CA All Change? As you can see, the structure isn't all that different, but there are things added in and moved about. I'm also considering including a section called THE NET. It won't be the same as the main menu article which had jokes or stories from off the net, but would instead include some interesting discussions from the SAM net chat thing. The only problem is that it'd take me bloody ages to convert, so this may be an irregular article. As I've said before, I'd appreciate a lot of involvement from readers. Send in your articles, your tips, your problems, letters and programs. If you promise to do that, I'll promise not to talk as much rubbish (stop cheering). If you thought all that is a bit confusing, get this - Colin Macdonald has written an article! Strange, eh? Take a look.. CM Colin Mac-who??? There I was, minding my own business, working day and night to keep things afloat, when some arrogant upstart by name of Colin Anderton phones up and demands, yes, demands that I abstain from my usual duties and contribute a small article for the next issue of FRED. So here I am, for the first time in months. Hopefully, you'll be welcoming this bit of text from me, but to everyone that prefers CA's scribbling, you know where the right cursor key is.... I made rather an obvious point over the Summer about my succesful completion of my University course, so now all I've got to do is turn up for the graduation in November (yup - six months AFTER the course finishes. Don't ask!) and that part of my life becomes history. So have I been earnestly seeking active employment within the ranks of some up and coming company? er, not quite. Not at all in actual fact. CM But fear not fellow tax payers, I'm not claiming from the government either. I would be if I was allowed to, but it seems you can't claim dole whilst trying to make your first entreprenurial million. Or even the first hundred. You may remember FRED's expansion into the PC market with the development of a game. It STILL hasn't been released, due to circumstances beyond my control, but hopefully things will get back on track, and it'll appear in the not too distant future. You may also be amused to know that another venture of mine is paying off. I run coaches to nightclubs. Not quite the sort of business you expect for someone involved in computers, but as you can imagine, other than being a way to pay the bills, it comes with a few bonuses! I've therefore decided to devote the next few months to try to get a sizeable business off the ground - and if that fails, I'll resort to getting a job sometime next year! CM But you don't want to hear about me. You want to hear about me and any accident prone journeys I happen to have partaken in recently. Well, as luck would have it, there was a Leeds Show a few weeks ago. As you may know, because of the amount of stuff that gets taken to these shows, I've hired cars for the last few, and I booked a car to get me to Leeds. That's where the fun began. I'd arranged to meet Colin A in Leeds at 7.30 on the Friday night before the show - we decided to make a whole weekend of it, rather than drive all friday night down, arrive in time for the show and then try to stay awake into the wee small hours of Sunday. But I was running a little late. It was 3.30 by the time I'd got out of Perth, so I had to 'step on it'. And step on it I did. So much so that I missed one of my turn offs just before Glasgow. Not only that, but because I'd driven through to Glasgow quite a CM few times recently, I didn't even realise I'd missed the turn off. That is, until I was about thirty miles on. Eventually, I managed to turn round and headed back. Only to get caught in Glasgow's rush hour traffic! I eventually got clear, and by 7pm I'd just got past Carlisle. As I'd arranged to pick up the keys for where we were staying BEFORE 7, I thought I should phone them and say I'd be a little late. However, I had no idea how long it would take, so I said 8.15 - I figured that was how much I'd been delayed in Glasgow for. Unfortunately, once I got back on the road, it turns out that Leeds was quite some distance away - lets just say, well above a hundred miles. Luckily, I'd just been putting the finishing touches to my time interval suspension machine and I managed to make it to Leeds for half eight. Here's hoping the speed cameras were out of film that night.... CM In the pubs by 9, we managed to find quite a few nice pubs which had lemonades capable of quenching our thirst. But then we got to the nightclub situation, and as Colin has already relayed, there was much sillyness involving clean trainers at the door. It wasn't however the smartest nightclub I'd ever been in. I think it would be safe to say it's one of the dodgiest, in fact. We bought our drinks and then stood quietly in a corner, making sure not to step on anyone's toes or look at their girlfriend. Valuing our safety, we thought it prudent to leave early, and we hailed a taxi. Unfortunately, we couldn't remember the name of where we were staying, the best we could do was that it was on a corner, began with "Glen" something and was near the University. Thankfully, we had chanced upon an educated taxi driver and he managed to figure out where we were headed. CM Then he asked where we'd been. Once again, our memories failed us on names, but we managed to give a reasonable description of where the nightclub was. "not TC's ??!!" he says, looking very alarmed. "yeah - that was it" Colin answers. "OH MY GOD!" says the taxi driver "YOU BOYS WEREN'T IN THERE WERE YOU?? YOU'RE LUCKY TO GET OUT ALIVE!!!" Ooops. I was retelling this story of the taxi driver who feared for our lives to Daniel, one of the Show organisers, the next day. He joked "wasn't TC's was it??". To which I reply, "TC's - that's the place." "OH MY GOD!" shouts Daniel!! "Even I wouldn't go there!!", coming from a six foot guy, and that's wide as well as tall.... CM I guess we'll know better next time! Apologies to any readers who happen to be locals at "TC's" - I'm afraid we won't be going again though!! Then the show. Colin's already told you all about it, so I won't bore you with details, other than to say that despite a low attendence, it was a good show, and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. I had the good pleasure of seeing Mr Chris White again, and he still rants and raves every time I mention the prospect of Lemmings II to him!!! Can't blame him really! Then the journey back up. We went to see Allan Clarkson on the Sunday morning to thank him for the show, and to steal some leftover MarsBars from the show, and then I took Colin into the train station so he could go back to Nottingham. We were just walking into the train station when a couple of the Spectrum guys spotted us and started chatting to us. CM They were saying they'd been thrown out of the B&B a couple of hors ago and had been waiting in the train station since. This was one oclock and their train wasn't till three. Just out of interest I asked where they were going, and it turns out they're going to Glasgow. Ten minutes later, the car's even more heavily laden and me and two Spectrum bods are speeding Northwards. It was excellent to hear about how the Spectrum's doing, and which people are still involved in it. Managing only to miss one turn off, and performing a petrol stop at half way that Damon Hill would be proud of (perhaps I should have said Jacques Villeneuve...), I dropped the guys off just outside Glasgow at four oclock. I then managed to get lost trying to find my way back onto the motorway, and ended up doubling back for a couple of miles just to make sure I was on the right road! However, that's enough of my rambling for at least one month, I may return next month with the high jinx from Gloucester........ JT Another Mind-boggling Moan Section By a rather tired John Well, after stumbling across a load of my old Spectrum games this afternoon I thought I'd try to load them up into my SAM. When this failed (R-Type, Chase HQ and Mercenary refused to load) I found that there was nothing more for me to do than to go out and try to buy a decent tape recorder to help convert some of these lost classics of yesteryear. And it is that "lost classic of yesteryear" bit that I'm going to moan about now. Take the SAM, for instance. Right? Now, name all the good games available for the SAM: Wop Gamma, Prince Of Persia, Lemmings. The list ends there. Okay, there are plenty of average games available but not many really good ones. Now, look at that little list up there and spot the only game that ISN'T a conversion of somebody elses code. Wop Gamma. If you take Wop JT Moaning Old Woman, Or Good Point? Gamma as being an unlicensed version of Boulderdash then you are left with the fact that the SAM, in FIVE YEARS of existence has not originated one good game! Take a look at the Spectrum after 5 years. now, admittedly, that machine had sold in millions and not thousands so there were more programmers to develope on the machine. But look at the software the Spectrum had in about 1987. Head Over Heels, Jet Pac, Manic Miner, 3D Deathchase (one of the games that I could get to work on my SAM today and still as good now as it ever was!). Some seriously EXCELLENT games there! Now I don't want to go on about how the SAM isn't getting enough games produced because if there was stead demand for games then Software houses would meet it but the quality of games on SAM is dismal! Don't misinterpret what I mean by QUALITY. There are lots of well programmed games on SAM that compete with the ST in many areas BUT HOW MANY ORIGINAL GAMES ARE THERE ON THIS MACHINE? All the puzzle games we have are just the same as their Speccy counterparts but with different graphics! There isn't yet one JT Moaning Old Woman, Or Good Point? decent shoot-em-up. The platform games are identical in all but graphics to the Spectrum as are the "arcade adventures". I admit Prince Of Persia and Lemmings both push the SAM more than any other games (note the common link?) but even they are conversions. Lemmings was released on the Spectrum BEFORE it was on the SAM and Chris White got a version of Prince Of Persia up and running on the Speccy! Licenses are fine - at least then the programmers have to push the SAM physically but why can't there be ORIGINAL games on the SAM that push the machine? Maybe I am completly out of order to say all this. SAM2SAM maybe encouraging the easy way out of games publishing by supporting the Games Designing systems. That's true, but I am only harping on because I think it is about time that the SAM stood up and got counted in the real world. If that means more physically demanding games then fine. if it means a new machine or extra add-ons then fine also. It is about time that the SAM actually started working to it's potential. Then, and only then, are we the SAM owners going to be taken seriously. JT Moaning Old Woman, Or Good Point? The balls in your court... CA Additional... Blimey. That was a little strong. But is it the opinion of people reading? Personally, I think there's been a lot more excellent games on the SAM. TnT and Legend Of Eshan spring to mind instantly (possibly even SAM Strikes Back - I loved that game). I think the problem isn't quite as harsh as John makes out. Nowadays, it's almost impossible to come up with an original game. On consoles (spit) you're getting the same platformers with just different graphics and possibly an extra feature (if you're lucky). The only original games I see are coming on the more powerful machines - the Playstation (hate) and 3DO (kill). And this is only because they have the power to let you move in four directions on a platformer now. CA Crisis, Or Slowness? The only way to go really, is to do what the SAM is doing (albeit at a very slow pace). Every once in a blue moon, we get a conversion like Lemmings that stretches the SAM and makes us all fall over in amazement. Apart from that, what can programmers do but write different versions of current games - as seen with Wop Gamma and TnT? If anyone out there can think of original game plausable to write on SAM, then for God's sake, ring FRED and tell them! In the Next couple of months, we'll have a game that sprouted from Spindizzy, a game that sprouted from Bomberman and a SAM version of Elite. To me, this is all promising, healthy stuff. In the case of the first two, they'll be different and the programmers will add things to make them different. There's not a lot more we can ask, and both games will be very welcome. In the case of SAm Elite, it's what people have been asking for since the SAM was launched. I don't see a problem. You must have a view, so let's here it. CA Fantasy FRED League Team Name Manager Score 01 The Crashed Crusaders Allan Clarkson 073 02 Frank Broughton Appreciation Soc. Mark Sturdy 066 03 "Headless" Stefan Drissen 064 04 I'll Cheat If I Start Losing... Colin Anderton 056 05 What's In A Name? A. Francis 055 06 Scotland Colin Macdonald 053 07 Scorpion Soft Productions Team (?) Paul Dudley 052 08 Crikey...My Wig Is On Fire! Andrew Chandler 051 09 Real Nice World Andrew Collier 049 10 Some Dead Good People Graham Goring 040 11 Death By Electricity Doug Young 039 12 Blue Foot United Stewart Skardon 039 13 Crap Games Co. Dean Nicholas 035 14 James Curry's Team Of SAM Wierdos James Curry 035 15 Team Mango Chutney Matt Vowles 035 16 Happy Slug Productions Tim Paveley 032 17 I Still Use My Sam, Honest.. Dave Handley 030 CA Fantasy FRED League 18 Children Of Satan (ahem) Stephen McGreal 030 19 The Kick Butt Crew Mark Bennett 029 20 Har Har Har Sylvia 026 21 Sentai Power Sammers NL Robert Van Der Veeke 022 22 NewZealandStory Howard Price 021 Manager Of The Month : Paul Dudley - 20 points This is what we all wanted to see. Clarkson and Sturdy only manage 4 points between them, allowing the rest of the pack to catch up. Drissen and Anderton race towards the top with high 18 and 19 scores. Macdonald rightly slips down the table and just as we thought Dudley was out of the picture, he comes zooming out of the woodwork going up 6 places. The bottom two teams continue to arse about, managing a whopping 1 point between them. Although that point did lift Veeke off the bottom and put Price back in a familiar position. A nearly interesting fact is that Vowles (15th) has got over 60% of his points from one player. Jammy git. CA News The latest in a line of gimmicks from mad-scientist-businessman Macdonald is a SAM watch. Colin's been looking into the possibility of making a watch that will help us all remember the SAM for years to come. The final design isn't decided yet, but currently the favoured idea is to have the SAM robot in the middle (it'll be an analogue watch). If you think it's a good idea, please tell us because the more support, the more likely it is to go ahead. Also, any views on what picture and writing should go in it would be gratefully received. The new game from FRED Publishing, Momentum, has now been released. As you should know by now, it's a Spindizzy game, which means that you control a little spinny thing and try and guide it round the isometric map without it falling off the edges. It's a whoppingly big game, so should be ideal for all those people who said they completed TnT in 5 seconds. Order it now from FRED for £14.99. CA News SAM Elite has been delayed slightly, but will probably be out when you're reading this. We've got news from the Jupiter camp this month (thanks to Terry ambushing me at the show). Burgular Bob is a new game released by the Ekins brothers. Burgular Bob is a platform collect-em-up with 4 levels of increasing difficulty. You play Bob, an evil criminal whose aim in life is to steal as much stuff as possible and store it in his garage. So, the idea is to run around the houses stealing various items and avoiding household pets, security dogs and making sure the job gets done before the police arrive. As we would hope, you can kill the annoying law-abiding pets simply by jumping on them. Yuck. Burgular Bob is available only from Jupiter priced £4.00. Cheques made payable to Sir S. Ekins The 1st (joke, just S. EKINS is fine). And write to: Jupiter Software, 2 Oswald Road, Rushden, NORTHANTS, NN10 0LE. And tell them FRED sent you and that Jupiter owe me a big favour now. CA Disc Contents As you'll no doubt be aware, this issue of FRED is a bit different. It's called "The Big Issue" because it's got a big program on it (hilarious title, eh?). Don't panic - this is only a temporary thing. Depending on what happens in the next couple of weeks, the next issue may be similar (I've got a cracking game from Warren Lee which you all deserve to own) or it may return to normal. Screens this month is a shameless plug for Momentum, and shows you some of the many rooms in the game. That squiggly thing in the top right is your life and when you play it cycles smoothly through some colours. A PC owner at the show was incredibly impressed by that bit and started asking me technical questions about it. Which just goes to show that the game is worth buying just for that bit alone! Our first mammoth program is RGB Demo, by Martijn Groen! At last one of our beloved overseas readers makes up for Stefan Drissen's laziness and writes a stunning program. When you load CA Disc Contents it, you'll soon see why it's so big. Lots of scrollies to read too. Big Gunz comes next from Mungus Software - or John Thrower for short. It's a beautifully presented game, with three different ships to choose from and some wonderful graphics. The main game is a shoot-em-up, and although it may at first appear to be a bog standard shooty game, look again. It's got some top bonuses like missiles which explode in a mammoth array of colours, as well as little bubbles which chase you and stuff. Blinding game, fella. Cheers! Epicentre is an adventure (yippee). It's written on SAM Adventue System, and it's about time we had some adventures writen by this on FRED. It's from our very own movie critic, Darren Martin and it's quite big too. I can't complete it, that's for sure, and I was able to complete those dodgy ones of Crash tapes. Thanks Darren, your a top bloke. Keep writing! CA Disc Contents Despite the fact that everything on this issue is stupendously large, we've managed to fit a module on. Mainly because it's stupendously small. However, it's the in-game music to Bubble Bbobble, so you can't go far wrong with that! Cheers to Stewart Skardon for sending that in. 'The' Interview is back and this month, we've nabbed Terry Ekins from Jupiter Software. I'd just like to explain the title to everyone again, because people keep coming up to me and saying, "Why've you put apostrophes round the word the in 'The' Interview?". The answer is clearly to emphasise the word the. You're supposed to say "THEEE Interview", as if it's the only decent interview ever. OK?? 'THEEE' Show Report comes next with two Leeds show reports, one from moi and one from Stewart Skardon. Apologies go to Peter Andre who sent me some e-tunes that I didn't use, because frankly they were crap. CA Thanks Everyone GAFFER : COLIN "Rimmer" MACDONALD () BLOKE : COLIN "Lister" ANDERTON () COMPUTER : SAM "Kryten" COUPE ()()() THING : DOBSON "The Cat" ()()()()() ()()()()()()()()() And all the helpful little Skutters are... () () Stephen McGreal Martijn Groen and friends FRED Publishing, Darren Martin [redacted] John Teare Colin Macdonald Peter Vinnicombe Stewart Skardon Terry Ekins John Thrower Robert Brady Movie Reviews Follow -> FILM REVIEWS -James and the Giant Peach (U) Running time: 1hr 19mins Distributed by Guild Directed by Henry Selick (The Nightmare before Christmas) Stars (and voices) Joanna Lumley, Miriam Margolyes, Susan Sarandon,Paul Terry,Pete Posthlewaite If your under the age of 30 then you'll probably have been brought up on Roald Dahl stories.So for 20 year old moi,this was a wide-eyed trip back to my childhood.The classic story (admit it,this is one of your favorites) is brought to the cinema with a mix of live action and stop-motion/computer animation. I am not going to describe the plot,if you don't know it then you should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself as to not know the wonderous stories of the British institution that is Mr.Dahl. Although not having read the story for a long time I believe that the cinema story has some new plot points,including a mechanical shark attack and a north pole adventure,adding even more to a truly magical story. The mix of live action and stop motion animation is not executed with some dodgy super-imposing but by clearly separating the sequences.Out of the peach in the 'real' world it is live action with Joanna Lumley and Miriam Margolyes as James's(Terry) hideous slave-driving aunties.But when James climbs into the peach it all becomes stop-motion and computer animation in a very similar style to The Nightmare Before Christmas.This is not suprising since Selick also directed TNBC,plus JATGP has the infamous Tim Burton as an executive producer who also had major contributions to TNBC. The animation is flawless and the voices are supplied wonderfully,including Susan Sarandon as the spider,Pheobe Gates (Daphne from Frasier) as the Ladybug and Richard Dreyfuss and Simon Callow. My only major gripe with this film was some of the dodgy singing which I knew to expect but I still cringed at it. Rating: 8/10 (If you can get past your false macho:"I'm not watching a kids U cartoon!") -Independence Day (PG) Running time: 2hrs 25 mins Distributed by 20th Century Fox Directed by Roland Emmerich (Stargate) Stars Bill Pulman,Will Smith,Jeff Goldblum Out of a possible 21 screens from the closest two multiplexes to my house,around half were devoted to this film! And after watching it all I can say is: What a waste of screen space.The biggest film of all time with over $200 million so far? Well, I'm sorry to quash the bed wetting hype, but it doesn't deserve that title. Okay, so the special effects are heart-stoppingly terrifying as the shadows created by the 5 mile wide ships creep across the cityscapes.But there is no real plot.There are much better "aliens invade earth,we fight back" films around with more convincing stories.The shallow characters with teeth grinding cliched lines just make an empty film even emptier. Bill Pulman as the president is the most convincing but even his lines deteriorate towards the end.Jeff Goldblum is stuck again as the lone scientist and seems a little lost around the superb comedy attributes of Will Smith whom is completely out of place in this movie. ID4 would have been much better if the comedy had been replaced with darkness.And the american patriotism thats crammed in to bursting point will probably make you ill.A landmark for special effects makes this a visually spectacular film that will look ridiculous on video,but it is dissapointingly hollow. Rating: 7/10 (You must watch it at the cinema) -Eraser (18) Running time: 2 hrs Distributed by Warner Bros. Directed by Charles Russell (The Mask) Stars Arnold Scwarzenagger,Vanessa Williams,James Caan The bicep busting,ass kicking,restaurant owning,cigar chewing Austrian is back in a stunt filled pyrotechnic piece of silly tom-foolery. Arnie plays US Marshall John Kruger who erases peoples existence as part of a witness protection scheme.A lone man who works in the shadows and completely devoted to his job, he is plunged into grave danger when he is assigned the erasure of Lee Cullen (Williams) who is involved in exposing the illegal arms sales that exists within her company.Inevitably this evokes the wrath of many influential people,and Kruger and Cullen find themselves framed and chased by every other man with a gun. The film surges along with explosive force,using countless set pieces and some rather tasty special-effects.But it is nothing new,and it seems that the presence of Hollywood heavyweight Schwarzenegger is the only reason that this movie didn't go straight to video.The timing of its release has not helped coming in the shadow of much better summer blockbusters. The scary thing about this film is that you can start to see that Arnie is getting old and begs the question: how long can he keep making the action movies that we all know and love.(The latest edition of Empire had a despicable article that tore into the great man himself and had the audacity to say that Arnies crowning moment,the best non-Bond Bond film,True Lies, was "Truly horrid"). Rating: 6/10 -Phenomenon (PG) Running time: 2hrs Distributed by Buena Vista Directed by Jon Turteltaub (While You Were Sleeping) Stars John Travolta,Kyra Sedgewick,Forest Whitaker,Robert Duvall It seems that director Jon Turteltaub likes his sentiment to be waist deep,since what should be an excellent film drowns in forced tears and sobbing. Travolta plays George Malley in a sleepy American town where his life flows along merrily with his many friends and easy life. It is on his 37th birthday while gazing at the stars that he is struck down by UFO type lights.It soon becomes apparent that his intelligence is increasing at a rate of knots.And accompanying this are some powers of telekinesis.With doctor(Duvall) and close friends astounded he begins solving scientific mysteries while trying to win the heart of Sedgewick and her kids.But fear becomes the better of his friends and people begin to turn away from him. Travolta is superb as the kindly nice guy as his world begins to change around him but still remaining down-to-earth.And he carries the film extremely convincingly through a film that becomes dissappointingly unconvincing as it proceeds.The first hour and a half is brilliant,but when the final revelation comes the sentiment is unloaded in truck fulls. Rating: 7/10
Letters & Reviews
Letter From Stephen McGreal Oy! You complete *******! (self censoring letter!) I thought there was something fishy. Children of Satan fell 11 places in FFL league despite the fact that most of my team members seemed to be scoring (reasonably) nicely. I shrugged, and thought nothing of it until, that is, I got FRED 72. I looked at my score in the FRED 69 FFL program using the data from FRED 72, and realised that I (in my team) had only scored 2 points and John (also in my team) had scored none! I realised that when I sent you the stuff to use in FRED (you put it all on FRED 70), you hadn't realised that Mungus Software is in fact, John and I. Although your decision is meant to be final sorta thing, here is the revised version of the points as they stand after FRED 72. Stephen McGreal : 6 points for Wabbitz (Slot G, FRED 70) 3 points for Sim Brick (Bits, FRED 70) 2 points for a letter in FRED 70 Letter From Stephen McGreal John Thrower : 1 point for an assist on Wabbitz This would take Children of Satan to number four in the league, higher if you decide to award compensation (say, 5 points?), and another 2 if you use this letter. On a lighter and strangely coincidental note, I'm currently listening to the Ozric Tentacles. Bizarre, eh? Unless you forgot the last letter. I wrote some lyrics which a mate of mine is turning into a song, you know. He plays in a band called PMT and my song is called Russian Roulette. I love Pink Floyd, old though they may be (well, are). I got stranded in London for two days with John, you know. With two hideous girls. I've heard War of The Worlds (the verision with German dialogue) on a vinyl record type thing. So, how are you? Fine, good. Nice to hear it. Great kneecaps, it'd be a shame to lose them by messing around with my Letter From Stephen McGreal other FFL players. Not a threat, just a warning. If you want to know what I'm talking about, ask John. I was going to learn assmembly, but when I saw David Zambonini's bit in Mnemodemo II, I just felt like crying or swearing a lot (I opted for the latter in the end, oh, and drooling). David, if you're reading this letter (which means they were silly enough to print this bit of the letter), you don't know me, but you've gained another fan. Whaddaloada drivel this is. Hmm... time for a bit of a letter which will be printed and get me more points now (obsessed? Me? No!). Sorry it's not on a SAM disk, just plain ol' A4, I'm genuinely so skint that I can't afford anything like the SAM typey thing you said was on FRED60 at the moment. [That's OK, I can't wait to get full-blown RSI - CA] Firstly, FRED: My only criticism, which I think other people Letter From Stephen McGreal might have but has not seemed to be mentioned in the letters page. FRED is supposedly a disk magazine, yet the amount of news and articles is unbearably tiny. Partly, this is due to LAZY READERS (get up off you posteriors like wot Colin says! Please, you do it, I can't be bothered - which is every SAM owners attitude), but partly because you fail to print much news apart from FRED releases and SAM show dates. Don't you get news from other SAM companies? If not, why not? Or do you not print it or something? Something should be done so that people can trust FRED to bring them news instead of relying on mags like Zodiac. It's be good to hear other readers' views. Secondly, someone did a FRED72 article about why there are no games on the SAM. I beg to differ. There are. There are many SAM games, many, many SAM software companies, just seemingly no interest. Okay, so bit companies like Ocean and US Gold don't do stuff for SAM, but it isn't just FRED and Revelation, there's Jupiter, Saturn, Mungus Software (plug, plug!) and, ooh, all those other ones. Besides Lemmings and a Letter From Stephen McGreal few Spectrum conversions there aren't many games from other formats, but SAM owners should enjoy the really good games that are individual to SAM. Having said that, SAM is constantly on the brink of dying. SAM owners are all pretty bizarre (no offence anybody!). Nobody seems interested in trying new things, like changing their magazines, or trying out software companies other than FRED, and Revelation. Speaking for me and some of the other people I've spoken to, nobody seems interested im much that goes on in the SAM world. Take the Quazar surround for instance: it's got an absolutely massive amount of software support, that's ignoring the fact that the sound qality is 4096 timers better than SAM sound! I really don't understand why some people choose not to buy it. If you support it, it'll grow, you'll get the satisfaction of your money many times over because all companies will support it, and it turns out good for everyone. And obviously, it's not the only example. Just supporting other software companies (if you like their games!), rather than Letter From Stephen McGreal sticking to the ones you've bought stuff from before will eventually give everyone so much more choice than they already have, and that can't be bad. People have to take an interest in stuff for it to work, and that's why SAM software is struggling. People think there are no new games because they ignore them, and eventually the new games die and go away, leaving only the older games in their place. So listen carefully, fellow SAMers: It's up to YOU to buy games, write magazine articles, send contributions to FRED, and support all aspects of SAM hardware and software. There's a lot of good stuff out there. SAM is a great community to be in, but in the changing times of PCs and the even more powerful consoles, it's everyone's responsibility to do their bit. If you areN't prepared to put anything into SAM, you can never get anything out of it, and you're better off with a different machine. Right, bye then. Stephen McGreal, (of Mungus Software, and Children Of Satan. Remember the kneecaps thing) Reply To Stephen McGreal Well, that's told me. How wrong of me to botch up your Fantasy FRED League points. It's your own fault, anyway, for not telling us who MungusSoft was, and especially for not telling me that you'd had help with your programs. And as for getting compensation points... well, you deserve points taken off for being so cheeky. I don't know, whatever happened to manners, eh? I'll have a look at the situation, and if you're not cheating (and I've noticed you'll do anything for FFL points), then I'll amend the points. I'm not sure about the John Thrower assist though, sounds dodgy to me. Of course I remember your letter about The Ozrics. Did I tell you my mate's girlfriend had a flute lesson from a guy in the Ozrics? If you like Pink Floyd, talk to BigMac. He's a huge fan. CA Reply To Stephen McGreal The information bit is a problem, I've noticed this for a long time. The problem isn't that we won't print it. The problem is that I rarely see any new stuff from anyone. I got Dean Nicholas to review PD because I wasn't getting any updates. Although it sounds strange, we simply don't get information from companies other than Revelation & Crashed on a regular basis. At the last show, I had to go around and ask the companies for information on latest releases because no-one came up to me and presented me with any. When the biggest SAM disc mag is only 6 foot away, you'd expect them to give us all the information they can instantly, wouldn't you? Anyway, I've now got lots of information and can only remind companies that they won't get coverage unless they make the effort. And that doesn't mean sending the same thing ten times - I'm not writing about the same program unless there's something else about it that was unmentioned. CA Reply To Stephen McGreal Thanks for your views on SAM software - my own view is closer to yours than to John's, but I still differ on some stuff. At least I'm beginning to acheive what I wanted - articles that are creating some response and conversation. The problem with Quazar is that people (and you can't blame them) are very wary of spending £50 on something that only improves sound quality. Before I get slagged off to high Heaven, I know that it brings a lot of enjoyment, and it is VERY impressive and Colin Piggot has created a lot of software for it, but the underlying point is expense. I sincerely believe that Colin Piggot deserves a lot more sales considering the effort he put in, but we'll need to see wider use of the Quazar if it's to sell better. As for contributions to FRED - I think you all know where I stand on that! Letter From Peter Vinnicombe Dear FRED, Please find enclosed a disk with some stuff on it for you to use in your magazine. I'm afraid to say that this is the last you'll hear from me, as I have decided to leave the SAM scene. The fact is, I just haven't got the time anymore to use my trusty SAM, and as I was feeling a bit guilty I had to give you all my programs that have actually been finished!! Thanks for all the fame, and all the wonderful issues of FRED you've managed to produce, and I hope you carry on supporting the SAM, for the wonderfully friendly machine it is! Bye! Peter V. CA Reply To Peter Vinnicombe We'll be sorry to see you go, Peter, especially as you're a well-known name here at FRED due to the fact that you program stuff for us. Keep in touch, and if you come to your senses again, we'll be only to glad to provide you with the issues of FRED you missed! Don't worry readers, we'll get him back when we do another newsletter! No problem! Letter From Robert Brady Dear Colin, Hello.On the PC disk is various stuff, including the next eight parts of The Useless Ones. These are shorter, but as you split the first part into two, this is probably a good idea. Incidentally, in slot E of FRED 71, no mention is given to NEWFRED.DCP - this is needed for Freds since about issue 51. Older Freds need FRED.DCP. The new version of FRED.EXE autodetects better as well. Yours sincerely, Robert Brady CA Reply To Robert Brady Thanks for clearing that up Robert. Issue 51 was my first, and I'm sure all the readers would be devastated to find that they couldn't read my editorials! I hope they know what's going on now. Letter From Darren Martin Dear Colin, Please find enclosed a disk containing some more reviews of Mulholland Falls, A Time To Kill and Striptease. I hope this one makes the deadline; either I keep missing the deadline or you don't like me anymore! D. Martin CA Reply To Darren Martin Thanks for the reviews - I don't know why I appear to have missed your reviews out. Although I must admit, this is nearly the first disc I've received off you where the shutter hasn't broken in the post! And how could I not like someone who's nearly got the same name as Debbie Martin from Neighbours? Ho ho ho. SS Momentum Review Momentum, the new FRED release eh. I have to say here and now that I overheard Colin A saying he was going to review this amazing new game, but I thought that he might be just a little biased. [You'll be hearing from my lawyers for that - CA] So I've taken it upon myself to do a review for him, that way we all get complete honesty. [You'll go down for years - CA] In itself, momentum is a Spindizzy clone, although it has a lot of unique features to it. Firstly, there's the loading screen which changes colour each time you load the game, and on top of that, the screen is actually interlaced, which makes it look even better. The graphics in the actual game are superb, all in a 3d view, and just bursting with colour. I did feel that a bit more attention could have been paid to the main sprites, but that's just a minor detail. SS Momentum Review At first, I found the game absolutely impossible to control. Press a key and then you get the complete opposite. It does take a great deal of getting used to, so if you are a short tempered person, I would arrange a few counselling sessions prior to playing the game for the first time. Nevermind, within 3 games, I'd got the hang of it, so I'm sure that you will pick it up even quicker, after all my mental age is about half of my physical age. And no, I won't tell you how old I am. The aim of the game is to pick up 365 'eggs' which I'm afraid to say look more like golf balls, which are spread throughout 152 different screens, all featuring a different confusing layout. And the best thing is, all is not what it seems. Objects that you might want to pass under, are sometimes in your way. SS Momentum Review This all adds to a really good gameplay, and what makes things even better is the simple fact that you can save your position. Very useful when it get's to that "If I go any further today I'll pull my hair out" stage. It's good not to have to start from the very beginning of the game again. Brilliant! The game is going to keep people frustrated for ages, and it's certainly not going to be one of those play it for while and then shove it on the shelf games, that's for sure. As I've said before, the graphics in game could be a little bit more detailed, but that's just a minor thing, and it doesn't really ruin the game play. It's just me being a pain. If you haven't bought it yet, or are not at least thinking about buying it, then shame on you. You'll soon regret it. There. Is that OK Colin? Cheque's in the post is it? Cheers.
CA And Here It Is... As if by magic (as they say in Mr. Ben) there's a show report, just as I predicted. Might as well tell you the whole kaboodle, because it's quite entertaining (which is strange for me really). After each computer show, Colin, me and anyone else who decides to tag along go out that night and stay in a B&B. These nights usually end up as disasters because we didn't bring smart trousers or Colin's very patriotic Scottish friends show how much they love English people and get us thrown out or we go for a curry and it's rubbish. Just little things like that tend to follow us about. So this year, we thought we'd stay 2 nights! The plan was to get to Leeds on Friday afternoon, go out Friday night to work the place out and test lots of drinks and go out on Saturday night when we've got some sort of idea of what's going on. Oh, and we might go to the show on Saturday if we're not too hungover. CA Show Report I was quite chuffed with these new arrangements because it meant that I didn't have to get up really early in the morning and probably miss my train and turn up late. So at about midday, I woke up and packed my bags, then scuttled off to the train station. I then found out my student railcard ran out the day before and had to fork out for a new one. I bought a magazine and went and sat on the station. The train ride was mildly amusing with someone collapsing really close to me (probably in awe of my good looks, but the doctors reckoned it was heart trouble). That delayed the train journey but perked up a boring few hours where all I did was work out interview questions (I forgot the paper anyway, so that was a complete waste of time). I got to Leeds at about 5:00pm, and caught a taxi from the station, because I had no idea where to go. Allan Clarkson, show organiser, walked straight past us when we were stopped and despite my shouting, didn't respond. The taxi driver thought I CA Oh, Oh, Oh, We Love The Show was a complete nutter. I cleverly arrived at the B&B ten minutes before I was due to meet Colin Macdonald there, and watched telly for an hour and a half waiting for him. He goes on about me being late with issues of FRED and then does that. The kettle calling the pot black (or some similar crap phrase). This night out was predictably unsuccesful, with numbers of pubs and nearly every club telling us to go away because I was wearing trainers. In the end we had to go to some really dodgy club and even then I was told to clean my trainers in the sink in McDonalds. Talk about humiliation. There was a bloke covered in blood coming out the club when we went in too. And the beer was bad. The taxi driver at the end of the night couldn't believe we'd made it out alive. The next morning, we were woken up by a really snotty woman who demanded we go down for breakfast. Half an hour later, we fell CA 2,4,6,8, SAM Shows Are Great down the stairs and attempted "eating". Then it was off to the show, only to be moaned at by everyone for being the last to turn up. I call it perfect timing. The show itself had all the old regulars - FORMAT (selling on behalf of FORMAT and Revelation), FRED (naturally), Crashed, Jupiter, Zodiac and Persona, as well as quite a large number of Speccy people. The day was pretty slow, although successful enough for FRED to warrant a come back next time. The main thing on show was clearly Momentum from FRED. A version was up and running on one of the FRED computers, so people gathered round, oooh-ed and aah-ed and then bought a copy. Some young kid sat playing it all day, the little bleeder. Also on show for a little while was a playable but early version of Kaboom!, the Bomberman game from Wayne Coles. Colin and I had a couple of games on that and naturally, I thrashed the CA 1,3,5,7, SAM Shows Are Heaven pants off him. It's looking really promising and I can't wait to get my hands on it at the Gloucester show. Cunningly placed by the door was Crashed, the organisers of the show. Crashed (or as I prefer to call them, the change machine) were flogging back issues of Crashed as well as T-shirts and the very latest issue. Their main role of the day was to provide FRED with change at regular intervals. Ho ho. Moving along, we had a number of Speccy companies, including one guy with a Romanian Speccy. Wierd stuff. It was a bit surprising to see that very good games are still being written for the Speccy, though I don't know what happens to them after they're written - whether the writer just enjoys them (bit pointless) or they're sold or circulated is beyond me. Some lads had a video digitiser for the Spectrum running and took great enjoyment in pointing the video camera at everyone who moved. CA One million and fifty nine, SAM Shows Are Fine Next up, we had a rather good refreshments stand where anyone who came along was able to pick up coffee, tea, crisps, choclate bars and dozens of other goodies. Colin MacD went there to buy him and me a piece of cake each. He ate them both. Apparently they were really nice. Following the refreshments stand was a fire door, which we had no hesitation in plastering with dozens of FRED adverts. Hurrah! FORMAT and Revelation were next up. This time only Bob was there, mainly because Jenny was trying to produce more issues of FORMAT. Bob gave me some stick because he'd had an earful from Jenny because I forgot to mention her in my last show report. Women, eh? Well, Jenny, chew on this... CA I Hope This Makes Her Happy by Colin Anderton Jenny works at FORMAT, She's Bobby's underling, Bob gets all the credit, But Jen does everything. She's got a tiny office, Right next door to Bob's, That's where she sits and works all day, Doing the hard jobs. We like Jen 'cos unlike Bob, She sits down and reads FRED, I can't pay money, but if she wants, She can work for me instead. CA Sorry About That Now that's out the way, maybe I can get on. FORMAT was selling back issues as usual and Revelation had their wide range of software nicely stacked and presented. I was particularly fond of the blue table cloth Bob had. Anyway, Bob was busy talking computers to some blokes, so I carried on. Andrew Collier was the next person I recognised. He was running the Zodiac/Zedd-Soft stand because Michael Stocks was in Peru (or something). He was mainly selling their new game, Conquest, as mentioned in last month's FRED. Unfortunately, Mr. Collier being Mr. Collier wasn't too keen on giving me free stuff, so we'll never know what Conquest is like (unless someone sends in a review, or Zodiac come to their senses and post a review copy). Zodiac also had back issues, little packs of games and a collection of discs from their PD library. Did I just hear a PC sound sample? No, it can only be Quazar. Colin Piggot was at the show as always with his trusty Quazar CA Free Plugs All Round! package. Now selling for £53.99, lower than what it started as, Colin played me some more samples, moaned at me for not giving Qquazar enough airplay in FRED and showed me what was new. The most impressive of the stuff I saw was Quazar Studio - a full sample editing studio. I wanted to see Super Byke - a lightcycles game, but if I did, I'd be playing that all day and I had to get round to Jupiter. Terry Ekins was propping up the Jupiter stand, showing off their new game Burgular Bob, previewed in the news section. Terry also gave me a copy of Chess to review, seeing as MacD didn't review it 6 months ago. I had a look at some Amalthea 2 screens which were slowly being put into Jupiter's biggest game yet. We also sneaked off later to do an interview, which may well find its way into FRED soon. Persona were next, but I didn't spend too much time there, because I don't know Malcolm and it looked pretty boring anyway (cor, I'll get moans for that). Persona were selling CA Show Me The Way To Go Home.. ex-Revelation games and issues of Blitz. Simon Cooke was also there. He had issue two of BOAI, the technically minded SAM paper-based magazine. "Crikey," I thought, "he HAS done another issue. I eat my words, I take it all back." It's another bloody good issue as well, except I didn't get the freebie sweet that came with it (sob). This issue has a Mouse Interface guide (part two), a MSDOS article, instruction timings (machine code I think) and more SAM Accelerator news, as well as editorial and news items. Oh, and they've got a NEW address: [redacted] B.O.A.I is £2.00. Boy, Simon and Martin owe me for all these plugs I'm giving them even though I didn't get a free sweetie. Andrew Collier kept going on at me to buy a copy of Conquest. There was also a bring and buy stand, and this seemed to be doing more business than everyone else! CA I Don't Believe It That bloke who hates me (better known as Victor Meldrew) was there spouting rubbish again. You'll be surprised to know he doesn't subscribe to FRED any more. I just humoured him for a bit and pointed him in MacD's direction. Ho ho. Stewart "Moneybags" Skardon was there, and once again he won the 'Who can spend most money at the FRED stand' award! That's a hat trick now. Expect a show report/review from him soon. Andrew Collier kept going on at me to buy a copy of Conquest. A Spectrum owner came up to me in the middle of the day and demanded to know why SAMs were better than Spectrums! What on earth was I supposed to say? If only I'd anticipated this and had a speech ready. Anyway, I brought him over to the FRED stand where Momentum was on one computer and Lemmings on the other and said, "Just look." That did the trick, I think. Sales began to pick up later on in the day, especially when CA Show Report Skardon turned up (the gullible fool). All you have to say is, "Cor look, that program comes in a pretty plastic bag" and he buys it. Andrew Collier kept going on at me to buy a copy of Conquest. As the day passed on, people kept coming and going, I managed to get an interview with Terry Ekins from Jupiter, as well as getting a free drink from the woman at the cafeteria and managing to upset Andrew Collier by mistaking him for Colin Piggot. At ten past four, some caretaker bloke started ranting on about us going. This was much to my amusement, so I had a good chuckle. That didn't go down well, and he shouted at me for a bit. "What a funny old man," I thought as he went on. Then we went to the pub (yippee). Mark Sturdy was asking deep questions about West Coast Computers, so I moved onto the other CA The Aftermath.... table wher we began an intrigueing conversation about beer. Then we retired back to our Bed and Breakfast to count money and prepare ourselves for a wild (and hopefully more successful) night out in Leeds. This time, we had a guide in the form of Allan Clarkson, Crashed editor. He's from Leeds, so he took us to a different part of the city. This time, it worked a little better - pubs bustling with students (apart from one which was full of old women looking for toy boys - we made a quick departure from there). Half way through our little pub crawl, Colin had to make a dash towards a bin to "take a breather". Then after closing time, we headed for a club called "Europa" or something similar. It was a huge club, and really good (but darn expensive). We moved onto bottles of beer, safe in the knowledge that no-one would try and ram them in our throats, and safe in the knowledge that a good night was ahead of us. CA Until Next Time The next recollection is the stupid woman at the bed and breakfast telling us to get up because, and I quote her, "it was already ten to nine". A few curses later, and I made it downstairs to breakfast, only to sit opposite a really strange foreign chap who I couldn't understand. Colin didn't make it down to breakfast, deciding that an extra half an hour in bed was much more satisfying than a few greasy sausages. Then we departed. We said goodbye to Allan, nicked some Mars Bars and made our way to the station. Needless to say, I slept all the way home. ---------------------------------------------------------------- And now turn over to read an unbiased (sigh) review of the show, by roving reporter, Stewart Skardon (written on his brand new copy of Outwrite which I sold him - hurrah!)..... SS NSSS Show Report Well, what can I say. What a cracker of a show arranged by the one and only Allan Clarkson (see, I said I'd mention you!). Of course, it would have been nice if I could have spent a little longer at the show itself, but the event's that I saw in my 2 hours there (yes that's right! It took ages to get there.) were rather interesting/silly/shocking. Firstly, to my disgust, everybody obviously assumed that I wasn't going to go to the NSSS, for upon my arrival, I immediately observed that the strict code of dress sense had been completely dropped. The 2 Colin's were both inapropriately dressed for the occasion, Colin M not wearing a kilt (but then again, would you with those legs?), and Colin A not wearing the obligatory FRED jumper. Tut tut lads. [My jumper was in the car, but it was too hot! - CA] Of course, I made history by becoming the first person to spend the most at the FRED stall for three show's in a row. SS Still Awake? I expect my award in the post any day now Colin. Colin A was also over the moon when I purchased a copy of Outwrite. "Hurrah! I won't have to convert his text files to 63 columns any more." I hear Colin say. [I second that! - CA] The FORMAT / West Coast / Revelation "Hang on, this is sus" stall just wasn't the same without Jenny, shame she couldn't make it really. Swiftly moving on, there were a couple of Speccy stalls, one of which had a Speccy video digitiser on show, not that it's much good mentioning that in a SAM disk mag. (Or should that be Disc?). Dunno, but let's not start that argument in this mag. Lot's of people came up to me thrusting things in to my hands (ooooerrr!), desperately trying to sell me their products. SS Sales pitches. Andrew Collier made an extra special, desperate attempt to try and flog me a copy of Conquest, the new game from ZEDD-Soft.... "Oh go on. I'll mention you in ALL of my scrollies." Sorry Andrew, but I don't get persuaded that easily. Tempting though. Colin 'I've dropped the G' Piggot was there, selling his Quazar Surround hardware, and the new sampler module. Although there wasn't much going on like there normally is at a Gloucester show at his stall. It was actually disturbingly quiet. Perhaps he had a headache or something. He did seem a little happier that there wasn't a tall bloke with a strange Australian Netherland type accent walking around asking "Would you like to buy a SAMDAC?" Can't think why though, can you? SS Am I taking the P too much? And how could I leave out the really 'impressive' Flexibase Services, with Flexipage, the teletext type thing that just makes a complete mockery of the SAM's graphical capabilities. Sure they sold tons of copies of that (NOT). Persona were also there, selling their wide range of products, including a new disc mag called Blitz! which I must highly recommend getting as well as FRED. The first 2 issues aren't bad actually. And don't forget the excellent Ice Chicken. Arrrgh. I can't stop playing it. Steve's Software had actually buggered off hours before I arrived, so I didn't get a chance to check out the latest version of SC Word Pro, which I would have liked to have done. Never mind. He'd better stay longer at the Gloucester show. Jupiter Software were there with their book about programming in SAM C. Arrrgh S*@#. No money left. I'll get it soon though. SS I'm nearly done. There was a noticeable lack of Derek Morgan and the video digitiser at the show. Where are you Derek? Let us know how the project is progressing PLEASE! Naturally at this point I had looked at all of the stalls, and then took my usual place at the FRED stand talking to both the Colin's about my top secret project, and then having a discussion about why on earth I decided to colour my hair bright orange for the show. (Yes that was me with the orange bits.) Then we were chased out of the hall at about ten past four, by some strange caretaker bloke. We couldn't understand a word he said, laughed at him and packed up. Colin A got a bit of a blasting from him, which sounded something like "It ain't forney yer kno'. Bugger orf" And naturally we headed for the nearest pub. SS This is where the fun begins Sitting in the pub, we got ever so engrossed in deep and meaningful conversations about who left what company, and when. All of this useful information came from a reliable(?) source in the form of Mark Sturdy. Shortly after which we (E.G the 2 Colin's, Mark Bennett, Allan Clarkson and Myself) all quickly downed the remains of our pint's, oh sorry Allan's T-Total (Lier!). Well the rest of us did anyway, and we then set off at extremely high speed towards Leeds, where I was catching my coach home in 20 minutes. Phew, close shave. I just made it, and was just in time to see a fellow show goer getting on the coach. Well blow me. Someone else from down south at the show. That's a first isn't it. SS FRED Exclusive Look out for the amazing interview with me that was taped in the car on the way back to Leeds, which ended up being a slagging match between four people. And remember folk's, you heard it here first - The news at FRED Colin MacDonald buy's three people a drink. (Bong!)* Stewart Skardon vow's to dye hair blue for Gloucester (Bong!) Colin Anderton makes promise to get FRED back on time (Bong!) *Sorry Colin, I'm only kidding, and cheers for the pint! /tewart Oh, and by the way Colin M \ Get Worms converted for the SAM! /kardon
Interview: Terry Ekins
CA Interview COLIN : Right, are you Steve or Terry? TERRY : Terry. COLIN : Where did it all begin? TERRY : It all began back in 1989 when I bought my first SAM and it didn't have any software for it, so we thought we'd have a go at doing some ourselves. We wrote Translator first, which is a French dictionary. We sent it over to Colin [Macdonald] who said something about publishing it but then changed his mind. We then sent it down to FORMAT who said the disks didn't work, so they sent it back. Then we gave up on it until about a year later and then we started dabbling about with other stuff. We wrote a couple of good games. Then SCADs came out, so we got that. Gamesmaster came out, got that as well. Decided SCADs was better and it all started there basically. Wrote a couple of games in CA Interview SCADs... COLIN : That was for SAM2SAM wasn't it? TERRY : Yeah, wrote a couple for them 'coz theirs were crap basically. Edit that bit out. COLIN : Erm, OK... TERRY : Wrote four games which were Muncher and Invaders and two others I can't remember. Erm, Labyrinth and something. I don't know. TERRY : That was at the second Gloucester show that we had those. So we just kept on building our software CA Interview library... COLIN : To what is is today! TERRY : Yeah, to what it is today - mammoth. COLIN : So were you a BASIC programmer before SCADs? TERRY : Yeah, dabbled a bit. I mean, you need to know BASIC before you can do SCADS really. COLIN : Why have you never taken machine code up? Or have you? TERRY : No. Erm, no. We got the Lerm assembler, which turned out to be a Spectrum assembler with an emulater, so we sent it back and haven't touched it again. There's too many one's and zero's in it for my liking! So we left that. CA Interview COLIN : And what about SAM C, because you've messed around in that? TERRY : Well, we wrote a book for SAM C, it's called "Programming In SAM C" if anyone hasn't bought it. COLIN : Plug time! TERRY : It's only a fiver. Cheques to S. Ekins. Cash to me. We wrote the manual for SAM Vision as well, which is published by FRED. Very good. I'll plug that as well, get our 10%! COLIN : Who does all the programming, you or Steve [Ekins]? CA Interview TERRY : Well, Steve did most of the work in the early programs. He did about the first six games, but then I started taking over as he started his uni course so I wrote Burgular Bob and a fair bit of Amalthea 2. I'm designing all the levels for Amalthea 2 as well. I did all the graphics for everything, apart from the ones Steve [Pick] did, which are a lot better than mine, admittedly. COLIN : Who's best then? TERRY : Steve's definitely the better programmer, but he can't draw to save his life. Although some people say I do stuff better than him. Especially converting stuff from PC games. COLIN : So you were one of the first people to own a SAM? TERRY : I got one of the first ones. It was just a 256K with CA Interview tape. COLIN : Ooh, the dreaded tape! And why did you buy a SAM? TERRY : Erm, because of the 128 colours. That's a lot, basically. We saw it advertised in early issues of Crash magazine, or as it turned out the last few issues of Crash magazine. It also had a nice bouncing robot thingy on the page. COLIN : Yeah, that was good. TERRY : Yeah, I like that. COLIN : So, were you an early subscriber to FRED? TERRY : Not really, no. I did order all the back issues, so I've got every one... CA Interview COLIN : Have you got Best Of FRED? TERRY : No, no. COLIN : You've not got the Best Of? TERRY : Why do I need the Best Of when I've got them all? COLIN : To have the best items, all there on one glorious disc with a lot of FRED logos flying down the screen on the menu. TERRY : Sounds very erotic. COLIN : When did you start reading FRED then? TERRY : Erm, issue 28-ish. Pretty early. COLIN : So you're subscriber 0684. CA Interview TERRY : Am I? COLIN : I don't know. It's a guess. TERRY : Oh. Could be right. Yes, that's right. Well remembered! Ha haa! COLIN : How do you think FRED has progressed? And I've got some boiling hot coffee here, mate. TERRY : It's gone downhill since the new editor. It's going along nicely. You've had some good demos on your last few issues which I like reading the scrollies on. My team in FRED Fantasy League never did get posted. COLIN : Didn't it? TERRY : No. CA Interview COLIN : Oh, so you're all lonely when I talk about it. TERRY : Yeah. Sad. COLIN : What was the last thing you ever wrote for FRED? Apart from that C demo which just plugged your own stuff. TERRY : Did it? Oh, well. Erm, we wrote you a SAM Vision demo. That was a while back. COLIN : I, erm, I might go and interview that German girl actually. TERRY : Which one's that? COLIN : Down there. TERRY : Very nice. Can we do a joint interview? CA Interview COLIN : Anyway, before I'm labelled a pervert (again).. TERRY : Rather than a girl! COLIN : Ho ho. What were we saying? TERRY : Erm, we didn't have a lot of stuff on FRED. We sent plenty up, but Brian McConnell seemed to ignore it. I don't know why it is. COLIN : Yeah, he tended to ignore a lot of SCADs stuff. He ignored a lot of Martin Fitzpatrick stuff. TERRY : Martin's improved a lot lately. COLIN : Yeah, I like his stuff. I like your stuff Martin, send some more in. TERRY : Yeah, you're really good Martin, get in contact with us CA Interview 'coz you're going to design some levels for us as well. COLIN : So, any plans to produce stuff for FRED in the future, MATE? TERRY : Yeah, well we've got a little Manic Miner game, about 10 or 15 levels... COLIN : Wooo... TERRY : If you want that? COLIN : Yeah. Go on, you've twisted my arm. TERRY : I'll send that to you then. COLIN : Cor, I'm doing interviews more often if they're as successful as this. CA Interview PERSON: Are you busy? COLIN : Yeah, very busy. TERRY : Really busy. In fact, I've got no money. PERSON: Money now. TERRY : I've got no money. COLIN : Terry's in a pickle. TERRY : No money. No money, I've got no money. Credit cards? Cheque? PERSON: No. CA Interview COLIN : He's got a nice shirt, you can have that. TERRY : Ha ha! I could trade my shirt. PERSON: No. TERRY : I'll come and see you in a bit. COLIN : Oh dear. I'm sticking to writing interviews down. I've forgotten what we were saying again. TERRY : You were twisting my arm about doing stuff for FRED. COLIN : Yeah, good lad. TERRY : The game is written in SCADs, but I know you don't mind SCADs too much. CA Interview COLIN : I don't. No, I like it. What's your view of the SAM community as a whole? TERRY : They're a pretty friendly bunch. Couple that are meant to hate each other. Won't mention any names... COLIN : Go on. TERRY : No. COLIN : Go on. TERRY : Alright. Dave Ledbury and Bob Brenchley. COLIN : Wow! TERRY : Surprise, surprise. COLIN : Scandal. We can see them both as well. CA Interview TERRY : Good job they're at opposite end of the room. COLIN : There's no-one at FRED's stand. Colin's looking all sad and lonely. TERRY : That's because he is. COLIN : Hahaahahaaa. Before I get into trouble, let's continue. Where do you think Jupiter is heading? TERRY : Ooh. Down the drain. COLIN : Yeah? Seriously? TERRY : No, not really. We haven't got time really, 'coz we're both at uni now... COLIN : Where you going? CA Interview TERRY : De Montfort. COLIN : Oh right, I've got a mate there doing maths. TERRY : I'm doing 100% computing. COLIN : Are you taking your SAM with you??? TERRY : Well, I only live 15 miles away, so I'll work at home. COLIN : Right. Amalthea 2 is up and coming and is it to be released by FRED, or Revelation, or..? TERRY : If Colin agrees to everything we demand, like money! He has to like the game too. COLIN : Are you likely to go with companies in the future, or do you plan to release under the Jupiter Software name? CA Interview TERRY : We don't really have a lot of time to do Jupiter, so we'll probably go elsewhere. We're doing a couple of games with Colin Piggot and Quazar - one platform one. Apart from that, we haven't got a lot planned. There'll be more updates on our C book. COLIN : To cater with SAM Vision? TERRY : Yeah, and the float library if that ever gets released. COLIN : Where do you see the SAM heading? TERRY : Well, there seems to be less and less users every year. I can see it going on and on as an enthusiasts machine with 2 or 3 hundred users, which won't be too bad. It seems to be dying very slowly, but we'll see. COLIN : Erm, what else shall I ask you? CA Interview TERRY : Ask him to leave my SAM alone . COLIN : Swine. Right, I can't think of anything else of the top of my head. TERRY : I've got an e-mail address. COLIN : Have you? Go on say it. TERRY : It's [redacted] COLIN : Thankyou.