Submitted by Dan Dooré on Monday, May 21, 2018 - 17:41.
|Colin's Touring Escapades, ECTS Report
|Days Of Sorcery Review
|Footy Management Game
|Tower Of Hanoi
|Bunj Wobl 1
|Blue Alph drummer demo and game
|Andy Monk Craig Turberfield Peter Vinnicombe
|Music Done On E-tracker
|Immoral Gambling Game! Outrage!
|Diy Space Invaders
|Multi-Part Mc Demo
|Lord Insanity's Screen Compressor
|Cheat At Prince Of Persia
|Ensure Discs Are Error-Free
BM Editorial Officially it may still be spring, but as I am already suffering from sunburn (yes, we do occasionally see the sun in Scotland), I am declaring it well and truly summer. So go out and buy some ludicrously bright short and dig out the ol' sunglasses and, erm, get ready to feel depressed when it never stops raining (an eternal optimist am I). The fact that it IS now summer (and no arguing at the back there) is usually good news for SAM owners, in direct contradiction to other formats where summer usually means "slump in happenings". Why is it good news for Coupe-ers? Basically because loads of us are on our school holidays and have nothing better to do than sit and work on our SAMs all day. We shall look forward to seeing the results of a well-spent summer hol... Summer is also good for listening to Guns n' Roses' "Paradise City" at very high volume on the hi-fi with the windows wide open, but it appears my neighbours do not agree. Strange people. BM Editorial Other reasons for summer being good are exams - there aren't any! The 9th of June sees the first day of my freedom, and even more pleasing is the thought that by the time you are reading this my only really difficult exam will be over. There is always the possibility that come the day following said exam I will be swinging slowly from a rope suspended from a tall tree, but I don't think that there's much to be gained from an attitude like that. Getting onto something else just for a moment, I'd better explain that Outletters is absent from the main menu not because we've binned it but because nobody's sent in any suitable questions! So if you want to see its return in FRED 34 find something you want to know about the SAM and send it in to us. If you've not been sure whether to send queries to us or to Brian Cavers, then don't worry - the problem is now solved: send them here, to that familiar Roundyhill, Monifieth address you all know and love. Thank you. BM Here's An Interesting Thing... You all know the FRED address by now, which is great. There is some "controversy" surrounding WHO you send mail/orders to. Colin MacDonald is fine, although FRED Publishing is even better. The only real problem is the one which arises when things are addressed simply to "Brian", which Colin says does happen every now and again. The reason this causes problems is that Colin's little brother happens to be called Brian, and I can tell that some of the brighter ones out there are just on the brink of working out the confusion this causes; Colin's brother seems to start getting letters from people he's never heard of in his life while Colin gets next to nothing. Following on from that, it doesn't matter a jot what you put on the inside of your letter; write down "Dear Burgundy Artichoke" if the urge takes you. It should at least provide a brief moment of amusement for Colin if nothing else. BM You're Too Kind Following my little set of guidelines last month about how to make your contributions easier to "process" (very professional term that), I'd like to thank everyone who did follow what they said. Just to make sure that you are all aware of them, here they are again. Remember, these aren't compulsory, but it would be greatly appreciated if you could stick to them when sending in contributions... 1:- Put your full name and address (if possible) on the labels of any disks you send in, and the date as well for good measure. 2:- Try to use as few files as possible; it may be "proper" to store essential variables such as your text$ for a message as a seperate file, but it can be a tad annoying sometimes! Wherever possible, following this particular guideline will make things much easier, and increase your chance of getting your program published (ahh, you can't beat a bit of good, honest bribery and corruption!) BM Save The Editor ('s Time) 3:- One of our biggest problems each month is actually finding room for everything, so if you could compress any CODE or SCREEN$ (especially ones that are half empty!) it would not go unappreciated. You'll find the standard screen compressor that we use is included in Bits N Bobs. 4:- Include DOS on your disks. You'd be surprised how many lumps of hair on my floor are there because someone forgot to include a DOS file... 5:- I know I said in no. 3 to compress SCREEN$ files, but if the screens are for the Screens section, don't compress them! (Confusing isn't it?). 6:- If you send in a disk with numerous things on it, could you include a simple menu so that we can look through the items without the risk of missing something. A list of files needed for each item would also probably help. BM Final Page of Do's And Don'ts 7:- Finally, include a crisp £20 with your contribution to help with erm, administrative costs (this is optional). Obviously we're not going to chuck out disks which don't comply with the first 6 above, but please, if you can, try to help this poor needy soul to have just the occasional early night... I may as well let Colin have his little say now. Just press that little key in the bottom-right of your Coupe (yes, the > key) to see what the Big C is on about this month... CM Colin's Back! As I (briefly) explained last month, I disappeared over the Easter holidays to do a little tour of Britain. Despite the rather uneventful nature of the trip, I'll give you all a short resume in the off chance anyone's interested. Firstly, I'll re-introduce Roger Jowett. You might know him as the person that worked at SAMCo for a few weeks then went over to France proposing to sell trillions of SAMs. Or you might know him as the guy that got his name in the SAMCo newsletter. Once. Anyway, myself and Roger got on quite well during my stay in Sunny Swansea, 2 years ago. So on Friday 2nd April, 7am in the morning, I thought I'd pay him a visit seeing as he was staying in the Eastend of London. Apart from being a little bit miffed at being woken up at 7am, he kindly put me up for a few days during which we, erm, ate curries and drank. Very business like! My thanks go to Roger and Jo for putting me up (and putting up with me): may the tiles of Triltex be with you forever. CM Col's Tours Sunday arrived. I was just thinking how long it had been since I had seen Chris White (famed for the FRED m/c article, writing for FRED amongst other things) so I spent a couple of hours travelling right across London to see him. After being walked, stuffed, bitten and "2 Unlimited" to death, Chris eventually got down to show me the stuff he'd been working on. I guess you'd all be interested? What! You think I'm that daft?! Sorry. The next day, myself and part of the FRED Programming Team (Chris) went to the ECTS (European Computer Trade Show). This is the British show where anything and everything computer related is released, promoted, discussed and proposed. This time, everything was CD orientated - mainly CDi and Mega-CD with a little bit of Nintendo, a hint of Amiga and the faintest whiff of PC hanging around. No Atari ST . No 8-bits. One of the priviledges of travelling a round trip of 1,200 miles to go to this sort of show is the number of freebies you can pick up. The down point about the show is that you have to have CM ECTS been trading for a certain length of time.....hmmm....an expensive task. One of the first things we ventured onto was Virtual Reality. This was not £4 for 2 minutes (or similar when me and Roger were in Picadily), this was keep going until you die (normally 5-10 minutes) and naturally, it didn't cost anything. It was nice, very nice. Although the machine would set you back £38,000 - or you could rent it for a cool £500 a day. Erm, I'll stick with WaterWorks. One of the major film licences that was previewed was Steven Seagal. You won't have heard anything about it because it won't be released for over a year! The version I was playing was most certainly a working copy - although only just. With over a years development on it, this COULD be one of the hottest games in '94 Robocod 3 (James Pond saga) was on show. This one, due for release in the Autumn is certainly heading towards the Sonic CM ECTS genre of game - I couldn't decide whether I thought it was an improvement or not but it was fast, smooth and great fun. Citizen will be bringing out a new colour 9-pin printer sometime in the near future. Price and date are unconfirmed but it is called the Swift 90 and will be, as usual, faster, better and undoubtedly with more fonts. A game that both Chris and I spent a great deal of time playing was "Rock 'n' Roll Racing". It's like Supercars but with off- road trucks. Fast, addictive and with a great soundtrack. Sadly it's only coming out on the Super Nintendo in Autumn, with no plans for other versions at present. After we spent most of the day playing games and fooling around, we departed on our individual tour of meetings and talks which proved, if not useless, boring. CM Next stop - Gloucester So from East London to South London to North London, giving the "boring" West End a miss, I nipped up to see that wonderful magazine FORMAT, in glorious Gloucester. Ahem. The theory behind the 2-day stop in Gloucester was to get some work done, to make plans and to talk about life, the universe and everything. They made the mistake of showing me a PC. They then made another mistake by telling me about these games that they couldn't complete. Some people never learn. Needless to say, we played games, we talked but we didn't actually get around to very much work at all. However, I was convinced that sometime I would get around to converting some of those PC games because they proved to be brilliant!! Someday....! CM Last stop...Swansea Home of MGT.....home of SAMCo.....indeed, all the sad memories came flooding back as the train pulled into Swansea. It was always a special point in the journey, when, just 5 minutes out of Swansea train station you could see SAM Computers - with the big blue sign adorning the silver building where the machine you're sitting at was born twice. Wednesday night. Gave Paul Jenkins (SAMCo, SAMTech and now working at Blue Alpha) a ring and went out for a couple of drinks, snooker, and the usual, beautiful, (Welsh) curry. Thursday - happened to be driven up to Blue Alpha Electronics. There's only the 3 of them there at present but they've certainly done a good job with the offices they've got - 4 storage areas, a kitchen, design room, manufacturing area, with toilets smelling so sweet you would almost believe they were outside. Unfortunately, the PC won again and we spent the whole day playing golf on the computer. Ah. CM Still in Wales Friday. The end of the working week. Typically associated with consuming vast amounts of alcohol and attending parties. Well - I couldn't break tradition could I? On Saturday (LATE afternoon) I thought I'd make a visit to Bruce Gordon. As usual, he was scheming his plans on how to become a millionaire. 9th time lucky Bruce? Seriously though, Bruce is taking a well-deserved holiday at the moment following the traumatic years of trying so hard to get SAM on par with the likes of the Amiga. He now dreams of making ice-cream and moving back home to Scotland - strange guy! Unfortunately, Alan no longer lives in Wales so I was unable to catch up him although it was nice to see most of the ex-SAMCo crew : Adrian, Mark, Paul, Bruce and Charles - even if it was only for a few hours each. CM New developments Blue Alpha have been busy indeed! When I was down there, they were playing with data transmission via ultra-sonic and infra -red methods (it was to do with the modem). However, after a recent phone-call, I've just discovered that they've decided to use the work they did in something else - a remote controlled joystick! What they supply is a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter plugs into any joystick you currently use and the receiver plugs into your computer. You can then stand up to 12 feet away from the computer and still play the game! Not only will this let you use your own joystick, but they can supply version that will work on virtually any machine! The release date is 10th May 1993. Price is £34.99 plus £2 p&p. It is called "The Remote", and for more details you can either read next month's FRED, or give Blue Alpha a ring on 0269 826260 If there is the demand for it, FRED may be stocking it. CM Revelation's at Revelation! There's been a few glitches with the release of Exodus I'm afraid to say. The last few versions that Revelation have seen have been almost unplayable. This is somthing we will be working on, but introducing an "addictive" quality into a game is not the easiest of things to do once a game is so far through development. Revelation were not prepared to say what exactly will happen to the game if things don't go as planned so all I can say is that as soon as there any developments, you'll see it in FRED. (I would like to point out that although myself, Revelation and 7 other play-testers found the game unplayable, this is only an opinion). However, several other of Revelation's up and coming titles are being developed at a very steady rate and I look forward to bringing you more details. BM (Now is the winter of our) Disk Contents Very witty, n'est-ce pas? I only hope I've got the quote right. As I've alreay said a few pages ago, there are no Outletters this month due to a serious lack of technical queries. Maybe it's the phrase "technical queries" that's putting people off. Is it? If so, send in "serious-ish" queries. Anything except things like "when is so-and-so going to release thingummy" will do. SCREENS is back in its traditional spot again, anyway. YAHTZEE is a Coupe rendering of the game Yahtzee (I love the way that the title allows you to infer what the game is about) by Roy Gardener. Full instuctions are enclosed, but a brief outline is not, so here's one that I made: your initial goal is to roll 5 dice and get a set piece (for want of a better phrase) which will fit on the score card - 4 of a kind, sequence of 4, or whatever. You get three rolls of the dice, and on the first two rolls you can opt to "hold" any, all or none of the dice. So if you get 4 fives on your first throw, you can hold all of them and hope that you get another five on one of your two remaining throws. BM Disk Contents If after your 3 throws you don't have anything remotely worth getting worked up about, don't panic. You can still put it anywhere on the card, you just won't score very highly for it! There are two categories of "set-pieces": the first gives you points for the number of 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, or 6s that you have in your dice (if you have 4 sixes, choose the option for 6s and you'll score 4x6=24. Similarly, 4 twos will get you 4x2=8 points). If you get an average of 3 or more of each number (3 ones, 4 twos, 3 threes etc) then your points will total 63 or more, and you get a whopping big bonus at the end of the match. The second category of set-pieces could be called "special" arrangements - 4 of a kind, full house, etc. The points here sometimes vary according to the total on the dice, and sometimes don't. I've no idea why the variation, so don't ask me to explain it. Anyway, after that longer-than-intended guide to the game you should be perfectly equipped to constantly lose (like me). BM Disk Contents SUPERLEAGUE is a footy management game written by John Teare, and if you, like me, spent your formative years hooked on a game called "Football Manager", you'll love this. I don't think you need any instructions as these things are usually not too taxing in the what's-going-on department. Have a formatted blank disk ready for saving your game though... TOWERS OF HANOI by Colin Piggot is yet another game (you're certainly a lucky lot this month!), and this one does come with comprehensive instructions and an outline of what's going on so I won't bore you with another of my epic explanations. BUNJ WOBL 1. Every so often we get a disk crammed full of items which are just crying out to be included on FRED, and such a disk was sent in recently by somebody calling himself Bunj Wobl. Quite why he chose this name I don't think I want to know, but he did. Anyway, this month there's a demo and a game. Next month will see Bunj Wobl 2, which I'm sure you're all going to be anticipating eagerly after you see this month's stuff. BM Disk Contents Steve Taylor, in a tragic mix-up of priorities, is studying for exams at the moment (much as I ought to be actually. Oh well), and so this is another Steve-less issue of FRED. But don't worry! We've got a nice Gamesmaster game by Robert Pain (he who looks set to take over the letters secion). Keys are, erm, things that used to fall off Spectrum Pluses. Ho ho. You can control the game, however, using cursors or a joystick. TAB to pause, and oddly enough, pause to tab (if you're a smoker). Chuckle. Oh, what form I'm on today... Q or F9 quits when you get frustrated about being too useless to get past level 3 (in my case at any rate). E-Tunes is back with a vengeance (not that it was missing last month but so what). Craig Turberfield has some more tunes and Andy Monk does not so are we to assume that the religiously- named lad has indeed relinquished his music throne as was suggested last month? Or did the fact that he's been busy writing us another lovely menu program delay his creative outputting somewhat? I don't know. Did it Andy? BM Disk Contents Peter Vinnicombe has a couple of tunes on E-Tunes as well as Craig (sorry Peter, I nearly forgot to give you a mention there!). HORSIE by Matthew Collins is what all you hardened gamblers have been waiting for (apart from a big win on a rank outsider, of course). Now you don't need to leave the comfort of your armchair in order to enjoy the thrills of this not entirely controversy-free sport. Unfortunately this version doesn't let you actually win money, but you're free to go down to the betting shop and place a "gentlemanly wager" on the horse of your choice. Just don't blame us when you get banned for life and/or arrested. In Invaders this month Chris White continues in his mission to get you all writing games confidently in machine code. COUPE DEMO by Mosher Skol is one of those multi-parters we all know and love, but it's apparently 512k only, I'm afraid. BM Disk Contents Bits N Bobs features a brand new program selector, written entirely by somebody called Brian McConnell. Ring any bells? Nope, me neither. Oh well. He asked me to point out the superb degree of modularity of the program... The actual programs in this month's BnB are: A spectacular vector animation from LCD, a cheat program for Prince of Persia by Nicholas Bay, a disk verifier which checks every sector of every track on a disk partially by Colin Macdonald and partially by me (Colin did the "difficult" bits), and last but not least, back by popular demand, Lord Insanity's screen compressor. Hurrah! Now you've got no excuse whatsoever for including non-compressed screens in programs other than "Wibble. I am a lobster" which is a bit of a cop-out so don't even think about that one. So now you know what's on the disk. Not a bad little issue at all, even if I do say so myself. BM I Was Hitler's Lovechild... ...would be a completely untrue thing to say so I won't say it. Hmm. I think I'll go into "slick exec" mode now: Do YOU want to earn BIG money? Are you an expert in machine code with a talent for graphics that makes Neil Holmes look like a blind warthog on acid? Have you already got plans for a world dominating, original game the likes of which hasn't been seen since Lemmings? If so, FRED needs YOU! If you are the one whose graphics look like the output of a visually-challenged junkie warthog, and your programming is limited to BASIC, DON'T WORRY! FRED needs you as well as Mr Showoff up above (maybe. As long as we're talking an ARTISTIC warthog here...). Send in any contributions and if they're featured on the main menu you'll get enough money to keep you in beers for at least a night or two (or alternatively, half an hour if you're like our drinking-habits-of-a-creature-with-gills publisher, Colin "Haddock" Macdonald). BM I Can't be Bothered Thinking Up A Title The world of the PC is large. One small part of it is taken up by PD texts, like BOFH last two issues, and the SAMTrek thing ages ago. This month we bring you yet another of these texts, and this one is even funnier than, ooh, Cannon and Ball. Well. Maybe not. They ARE major comedy stars, you know. But I'll stop wittering on and let you enjoy this delightful little tale. If you like it, and I'm pretty sure you will, there's another episode next month... (Some of the things in it might sound a bit weird, but usually that means that there's joke somewhere; you might need to read it a couple of times to spot them all). The name's Wheelbarrow - Sam Wheelbarrow. The city had gone to rack and ruin. Ronnie Rack and Reggie Ruin, two of the smartest operators in the business. They'd soon left Telecom and were running the biggest organised crime network in the East Midlands. Now burglars ran riot. Muggers ran amok. And Ronnie and Reggie ran the Police Dept. They had the Chief Commissioner in their back pockets (one foot in each. It used to amuse them to run along the street and hear his head bouncing on the pavement behind them). Inspector Newton was the only clean cop I knew. His name was cleared after an incident in court. He sprained his wrist during mixed doubles and couldn't take backhanders. He was having such difficulty with bent coppers that eventually he had to give up and call me from a card phone. When I arrived at Police HQ, the Neighbourhood Watch group were up in arms. They were after the Armalite rifles. They tried to bribe the officer in charge to hand over the weapons. Some of them were loaded, but most of them didn't have nearly enough money. Citizens had started taking the law into their own hands. But as they were only on Radio 4, nobody cared. This place needed sorting out and sorting out good. Why, the guns weren't even stored in alphabetical order. Newton feared the worst. In fact, he wasn't fond of anything in the delicatessen so we moved into the street. "This whole set-up stinks," he said. He was right. They should never arrange a display of cheeses in a south facing window like that. "The Department's got to clean up it's act," he said. True, they'd not won the inter-departmental talent contest for eight years, but I thought they ought to concentrate on Police business first. "Look out!" I said, "Someone's thrown the freezer out of the path lab!" We jumped clear of it, but then we saw, projected on a cloud, an image that brought back unpleasant memories. It was a picture of a bat. Newton shuddered, "You don't think...?" "This is no time to be trading insults," I said. "I do think, I think a lot. And I think this means what I think you think I think it means." "Do you think it's a Dark Knight?" "Well, it is a little cloudy. Let's get inside." It meant we were in for an attack of Superheroes. Only last year the city had been full of Masked Avengers. And most of them were driven by Caped Crusaders. Some were vigilantes, some weren't Italian at all. Newspaper photographer Peter Pinker and been bitten by a radioactive spider plant and become the Botanic Man. He turned out to be a weed. When newspaper photographer Peter Perker had eaten an irradiated Black Forest Gateau he had become Pie-Der Man. A couple of times he'd left us with egg on our face so we told him to beat it. After he'd tried to climb a building on a rope attached to a Meringue-O-Rang we heard no more of him. Monkey Man had met a similar fate trying to climb up an Orang Utang-O-Rang. Butler Man and his You Rang-O-Rang never caught on, and the same went for Captain Privatisation and his Public Utility Belt. People hit by Gamma Rays had become crime fighting hulks. People hit by Delta Rays had realised they were swimming in the wrong place. The Superheroes banded together. The Revengers united in the name of truth, justice and liberty. The Assistors united in the name of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And the League Of The Society Of Justice For American Liberal Democrats Marxist Leninists United FC never could agree on a name. Captain Wood went against the grain and formed a splinter group, but Gravity Man fell out. Butcher Man got the chop, Nudge Man got the elbow, Used-Car Salesman ran off with Mini Clubman, The Human Foot got the boot, Zimmerman was framed, and Bananaman split. After six month's crime fighting the Superheroes fell victim to the one foe they couldn't resist. The dreaded VATman. The all failed to fill in Customs and Excise VAT form F3790, never to return. Now we were to be visited by more of the same. Who could be using a bat as his emblem? "It is I - The Cricket!" said a figure all clad in white, with an athletic support outside his trousers. "Criminals are a Cowdray lot, so I chose a disguise that would strike fear into their hearts. Bitten by a Radio 3 sports commentator I mutated and developed superhuman powers. You should see my googlies now! I'll put a stop to this racquet, old sport. I'll bowl 'em over and hit 'em for six. See how they run! Wicket! Not out for..." Before he could say any more I shot him. The last thing the world needed was another superhero. The second-to-last thing were more jokes like this. As an after thought, I shot the writer. BM Credits Editor: Still me, I'm afraid. Thanks to: LCD Nicholas Bay Alan Norton Lord Insanity Colin Piggot Stefan Drissen Bunj Wobl Douglas Young P Vinnicombe Craig Turberfield John Teare Matthew Collins Chris White Mosher Skol Roy Gardner Robert Pain Darren Hubbard FRED Publishing, Phone:- [redacted] [redacted] >>> The usual: music and wrestling>>> BM Music Reviews This month sees a nice review of the Lemonheads' concert in Glasgow last month, plus a review of U.F.Orb, the album by the Orb. And that's about it really; my CD buying's started to severely slow down for some reason. I've really got no idea where all my cash seems to go these days. Ah well. The Orb - U.F.Orb Not my usual type of music this; there's not a guitar to be heard on the entire album! But variety is the spice of life, as they say, and a bit of this type of music never did anyone any harm. The VFM factor here depends very much on your point of view; there are only 5 real tracks, but they do have a combined length of about 73 minutes. I'm inclined to give a big thumbs up to this on the VFM front anyway. BM The Orb - U.F.Orb The Orb's music is very difficult to categorize. There's no definite structure to the "songs", it's more that they just happen. Sometimes a track might be 50% just ambient noises but there's usually a recognisable rhythym. You don't listen to the Orb in the same way as you listen to Nirvana or the Pixies or a "normal" band. Stuff like this is best listened to as background music to working or something. It is good to listen to at night when you're trying to get to sleep, but I don't suppose that's going to persuade you to go out and buy it. Having said that there's no real substance to this album, it really does grow on you. You get to recognize even the most insubstantial parts of it and it's somehow great for making you feel relaxed and at ease. This was one of my "risky" purchases after hearing one track on the radio, and it's paid off. 9 out of 10. BM Summer Music Before the Lemonheads' concert, I think you ought to know that the official FRED music to listen to this summer, be it in the Mediterranean (the area, not the sea, obviously) clutching a nice cool glass of cream soda, or in the car on the way to Brighton, is either: 1:- U.F.Orb, by the Orb 2:- The Stone Roses eponymously titled first CD 3:- Angel Dust and/or The Real Thing, by Faith No More Anybody caught listening to anything else this summer will be given a very nasty telling off and very possibly a slapped hand (my old primary school did it, so it MUST work). BM Lemonheads Concert Review After stupidly losing one of my contact lenses at a party three nights previously, paying for a pizza which took so long to be cooked that I didn't have time to eat more than one slice before it was time to go to the coach, and finally suffering a direct hit from a passing pigeon seconds before boarding the coach, I was a little worried that this wasn't going to be a good day for me. Then, on the coach through to Glasgow, we had to sit through a 2 hour video of fractals and Mandelbrots accompanied by the sort of music they play in Indian restaurants. Not a good start. But I shall forget all that. When we arrived in Galsgow, I still hadn't got a clue who were supporting the Lemonheads. I may as well add that we completely missed the first support act, and I don't even know who they were, but things took a turn for the better when we got into the venu. Why? Apart from having nice hamburgers for sale, there's a T-shirt stand in the foyer. BM Lemonheads And on this t-shirt stand there were t-shirts for the Lemonheads (never...) and rather interestingly, t-shirts for a Glasgow band called Eugenius, formerly Captain America. This sparked all sorts of curiosity - were Eugenius the support act? Surely not! Nobody seemed to have the vaguest idea whether Eugenius were supporting or the Barras happened to have some spare Eugenius t-shirts to flog, so in the end we just had to toddle up to the stage area (I lied; we caught the last ten seconds of the first support act). One quick pint later, and we were still wondering who would be the other support band. Then: the lights went down, the crowd pushed forward expectantly, and a group of blokes came on stage, banishing all doubt with the words "Hullo. We are the Eugenius boys". And flaming excellent they were too! I've not got their album, but after that I think it may be put on the list of things to get. BM Lemonheads I'm not sure what songs they did, but the ones I do know they played are Flame On, Oomalama (or whatever it is), something to do with beds, (Bedpin? Bedstand? Bedpan?! God knows). The audience response was incredible. People were jumping about like there was no headline band to come (I'm as guilty as anybody of that). The band were truly great, with a good onstage presence and a clear sense of humour. One song was announced as "just so I can do my guitar solo" and the other guitarist started making worship gestures half way through said solo (you know, bowing low, hands held up). Good stuff. After their superb set I was just about knackered, and my nice new Lemonheads t-shirt was dripping (yuck). A few soft drinks later though, and I was prepared. Something anybody who's been to a concert will know about is the pre-headline crush; all through the break, more and more people try to get to the front for a better view. BM Lemonheads Well, this was a bad one! People just kept pouring into the area just in front of the stage. Then, the lights went off, the stage lights on, and out came the Lemonheads. Don't ask me what the line-up was, but Juliana Hatfield was not in it (booo!). Evan Dando was though. Immediately they kicked into "Stove" from Lovey, and that set the pace for the next hour and a half, maybe longer (I didn't have a watch on). So what songs did they play? EVERYTHING off It's A Shame About Ray, Mrs. Robinson, Bein' Around, Into Your Arms, Luka, Stove, Ride With Me, a few new songs, and a couple of older ones I didn't recognise. Highlights of their set were "My Drug Buddy" which was just incredible; this could be the most emotional song of all time. It's A Shame About Ray was excellent too, as was Confetti. BM Lemonheads They played a lot of calm songs, presumably to try and keep everyone conscious; all that jumping around led to not a few people passing out and getting hauled out before being trampled to death. You wouldn't believe how hot and humid and sweaty the place was!! They (the security people to prevent stage diving and rescue passer-outers) started off chucking glasses of water over us, and that quickly led to large buckets full of water! It was actually lucky I DIDN'T have my contact lenses, because my eyes got so full of sweat and water that they would have fallen out then anyway. Back to the music though. Top quality throughout. The tunes were so well recreated it was almost like listening to the CD very very loud. Evan apologised for "standing here not dancing, but my microphone can't handle that. Sorry if I look like, you know, a sombre idiot" which went down well. Those familiar with their newest album would also appreciate the humour in the intro to "Bit Part" - Evan mumbling the words almost to himself. BM Lemonheads Anybody know the song "Rudderless"? Well, that was one of the ones where EVERYBODY was chanting "Ship without a rudder's like a ship without a rudder's like..." and that was definitely a highlight. "Hannah and Gabi" had the whole audience in a trancelike state, just gazing up at the sources of such amazing music. I'm going to give "My Drug Buddy" another mention just to emphasize how good it was. Put this song on your hifi NOW, put the volume up to at least 75% full, close your eyes and imagine what it was like. DO IT!! They did encores - I'm not quite sure how many, but at least 2, possibly 3 or even 4! It all depends on what you term an encore, as there were a few times the band went off and then just Evan came on and did an acoustic song or two. He did Bein' Around that way, and the audience sang along with him for every single word of every line. A masterpiece of a song. BM Lemonheads One of their encores began with, "This next song's written by Charles Manson," then they played Mrs Robinson (which is infinitely better than the poncy original version). Oh wait a minute - I've forgotten "Ride With Me". That has to be the close runner-up to My Drug Buddy for sheer emotion. Even the album version of that is enough to get you all bleary eyed, so imagine the extra edge the live version had! All in all, this was the concert of a lifetime. Absolutely unbelieveable, making February's Dinosaur Jr concert look like a load of tosh. I really do feel sad that it's all finished now! The Lemoheads live is something not to be missed. They're heavier than you'd think from listening to the albums, but still perfectly in tune. "I love, 10 out of 10 (in case you my drug buddy, hadn't quite worked that my drug, out yet). my drug buddy...." DH Darren Hubbard's Wrestling Card Review Yep, the WWF hit the country last month and, because I can't be bothered to write a video review, do a "Card" instead! So here it is. By the way, a "Card" is a set of wrestling matches in one night, in case you never knew. So, on with the show. Just before I went to the world famous Whitley Bay Ice Rink, I thought hey, take a camera. I paid £25 for seats three rows from the front, so, get some piccies. I got the camera, opened the back of it to see if there was a film inside and there was. I not too clued up on how to work the thing so I seeked instructions from my Mum. "You didn't open the back did you?" Yes I did. "Cos if you did, You've just wiped the film clean." Oh, b****y marvellous! Anyhow, got on the train to Whitley Bay. The Ice Rink is about a half mile from the stop which I got off, and, not feeling the urge to go to Whitley Bay often, I never knew where it was. Should I turn left or right? "Right" I thought. Wrong direction. After asking for directions, my brother and I were on the right DH Wrestling track. The event started at 7.30 pm. Despite taking wrong turns and buying a new film for the camera, we managed to stand in the queue two hours early. Topper. At least we'll see it. What wasn't very nice was the experience of listening to thousands of little seven-year-old gits doing impressions of Hacksaw Jim Duggan. "Hooooo!" "Hooooo!" "Hooooo!". I felt like chinning every one of the little blighters. While I was in the queue, I thought I'd have a quick game of "spot the nerd with the out-of-date clothes." That wasn't too successful. Spotted someone with a British Bulldog T-shirt (who left the WWF seven months ago) but thats about it. After some considerable time, the doors opened. There was a bloke at the doors shouting to everyone "NO CAMERAS! NO PHOTOGRAPHS!" Didn't stop my brother from smuggling a camera in. DH Wrestling Finally inside, so I might as well buy a t-shirt or something. Big mistake. Within seconds of having that idea, a massive swarm of people came rushing along, trying to buy those poxy Undertaker fingers that bend about. Ended up buying a programme from somewhere else. Seven quid for a book with a few glossy pictures in! After buying the programme, we were guided to our seats. Four times. The first three times we were shown fantastic seats. Great! We were just about to sit down in them until we were told we were in the wrong ones. Instead, we had seats about 300 yards from the ring. £25 for this s**t! After trying to find a good view, with some ugly little pig standing on her seat, waving her Undertaker finger in the way, the matches begun.... DH Wrestling TYPHOON vs DAMIAN DEMENTO: What a match-up, I don't think. The first match of the night was possibly the most boring. Basically, the match was all about Demento talking to himself, and Thypoon missing plenty elbow drops, one I thought nearly smashed the canvas. Typhoon got the pin with a powerslam. * KAMALA vs KIMCHEE: Crap match, no skill whatsoever, but who cares if its Kamala? Kimchee was Kamala's "trainer" before Kamala found his indepenence, so Kimchee started slapping Kamala about telling him how wrong he was. Kamala responded with chops and kicks. This continued for some time until Kimchee left the ring. Kamala slapped his belly which had me in stitches! Kimchee walked back to the dressing room to which had the crowd chanting "Chicken! Chicken!" Kimchee came back to the ring to be met with a chop to the throat and a fearsome big splash. Kamala went for the pin, but unfortunately Kimchee was on his belly, so Kamala could get the 1-2-3. 99.9% of the crowd started to gesture to Kamala to turn him over. DH Wrestling Eventually, Kamala rolled him over the right way to get the win. With the match over, Kamala grabbed Kimchee's hat, put it on his head, walked about and slapped his belly. Kamala: Comic genius! * * * * CRUSH vs DOINK: After Crush's defeat to Doink at Wrestlemania IX, Crush was looking for revenge. He absolutely dominated the opening minutes of the bout, with punches, a back-breaker and a drop-kick which sent him out of the ring. Doink walked towards the dressing room and the "Chicken!" chant started again. Crush grabbed Doink outside the ring and dominated again. Doink couldn't take no more so he hid under the ring. Crush looked under the ring for him but Doink emerged from the other side and nailed Crush from behind. Doink won by count-out when he crawled back in the ring. When Doink's hand was raised, Crush crawled back in the ring, and punched him about a bit. Crush then applied a suplex, another back-breaker, a gorilla press and squished his head with a Cranium Crush. * * * and a half. DH Wrestling HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN vs YOKOZUNA: Oh dear. Boring match ahoy. The crowd started chanting "Hooooo!" and Hacksaw had them chant "U.S.A. U.S.A." Highlights (if you can call them that) were Yokozuna's Banzai (Hi Dan!) splash and Hacksaw hitting Yokozuna after the match with a lump of wood for being a sore loser. * The action then stopped for 20 minutes for a break, during which the referees were testing the ring. One ref, Danny Davis, made the ring wobble with his feet. Typhoon must of smashed the canvas after all! BOB BACKLUND vs Intercontinental Champion SHAWN MICHAELS: 43 year old Backlund didn't have a clue. He came in the ring to a massive chorus of Booo!s and he's a fan-favourite! Michaels however, the bad-guy, received cheers! I couldn't understand it, but enjoyed it cos I wanted Michaels to win cos Backlund's too boring. The match was an utter time waster. Five manuevers in 23 minutes doesn't suit me at all. * DH Wrestling NASTY BOYS vs HEADSHRINKERS: I expected a brawl and I got one. Highlights included Headshrinker Fatu missing a Samoan Drop off the top rope, a Fatu low blow and a spectator throwing a Frisbee off Afa, the Headshrinkers manager. Both teams got disqualified. The only tag team match on the card. * * MR. PERFECT vs LEX LUGER: After Mr Perfect defeat to Luger at WM IX, Perfect got a wee bit angry, so the match was a little more brawling then expected, although both traded technical manuevers at the start. Highlights included a sleeper, a Luger clothesline, and Luger flexing his biceps at the beginning of the match (ahem). The match ended when Luger belly-to-back suplexed Perfect, keeping him there. The ref counted, but Perfect rolled his shoulder up, and, with Luger's shoulders still on the mat, the referee counted three and Perfect won. Possibly the best match on the card. * * * * DH Wrestling Just enough space to say that it was really worth it at £25 for Bob Yuca seats. Its probably worth going once, though. Next month sees a review of WCW Superbrawl III if its released on time. See ya then!
Letters & Reviews
BM CONTENTS 01 - The usual; this very Contents page 02 - Letter from Andrew Penny 08 - Andrew Chandler with one of life's spooky coincidences... 09 - Letter from Nick Lewis 13 - Letter from Stefan Drissen 17 - A Quick Pre-Letter Message 18 - Letter from Robert Pain 22 - Days Of Sorcery Review by D Tallerman Letter from Andrew Penny Dear sir, I was watching a demo the other day, from a recent copy of FRED magazine, being totally mezmerised by the amazing sights and sounds being shot at me at a rate of knots along the cathode ray tube, when it dawned on me exactly what I was watching: I was watching an old SPECTRUM demo which had been converted to the SC 512K by some clever but sadly misguided soul. Yes I did say misguided, and I said it because I can't for the life of me see why he was wasting his time converting old demos when he could use his talents much more profitably, for all of us, by converting old SPECTRUM GAMES to our format, concentrating on the more famous ones. He could then earn a bob or two by showing his efforts to the original publishers who could then re-publish the games at full price. (a la PRINCE OF PERSIA / E.F.T.P.O.T.R.M / DEFENDERS OF THE EARTH). Letter from Andrew Penny Now I'm not just talking about making old SPECCY games "compatible" with our format, but making them into full blown SAM versions. And before you start going on about things being more complicated than they look on the surface, I've seen SPECCY 128K music converted to SAM, I've seen complicated machine code demo's converted to SAM, I've seen some spectacular artwork on the SAM, and I've seen some very clever SAM specific programs. And where have I seen all these?; why amongst the very demos that feature regularly in your very excellent disk magazine. So if you were to get all these "demo writers" together to share their knowledge, you could put together a toolkit of short M/C routines (such as "patches" to alter the coordinate system, and a short routine to tack on the end of screen memory to keep an eye on memory paging) to convert SPECCY greats into 16 colour SAM versions. And remember, it's all been done before, just not all at the same time and to actual comercial games. Letter from Andrew Penny I know it seems an odd idea to resurrect old games, but think about it a moment. There have been some EXCELLENT games on our old SPECCY, and what were the only gripes with most of them?; thats right, lack of colour / colour clash, tape loading times, lack of memory and poor sound from the pre-128k games. All of which would be cured in one fell swoop by using the SAM'S disk system instead of tape, SAM'S extended palette and colour resolution and vastly bigger memory capacity, and then there's the superior sound that could be taken advantage of, though this would probably begin to make things a little too complicated to be worth while at the start, so what, playability's the name of the game, remember!? Also, we knew the SPECCY wasn't fast, so we weren't suprised, or most of the time even too bothered that the games weren't as fast as their new age brothers were, as long as the playability was there. So speed shouldn't pose a problem either, and on the odd occasion, SAM might suprise us with an extra bit of zip to a game it liked in particular! Letter from Andrew Penny A great one to start on would be the one just released for the SPECTRUM by U.S.GOLD, "STREETFIGHTER II". You know the one: THAT GAME THAT SOLD MORE SNES'S THAN ANY OTHER FACTOR !!!!!! hint...hint! Of course, if you get cold feet about actually doing the conversions yourselves, you could always make up the toolkit anyway and send it off to another publisher, such as U.S.GOLD themselves! I say try it with a game or two, start ringing those old SPECCY publishers asking for copies of their old games to convert, it may be more successful than you think, and what have we got to lose, it might just be the making of our SAM! BM Reply to Andrew Penny Oh dear.... Calling Stefan Drissen a "sad misguided soul" is not, I suspect, going to win you any friends amongst the majority of FRED readers, Andy. Lucky for you we're not giving away your address! No, seriously, the Spectrum demos prove very popular indeed on the few occasions we use them. Most people, it seems, are extremely suprised by the quality which exists in the demos, considering the limitations of the Speccy. I know that I was; I'd always assumed demos of that sort were only really common on the Amiga (how wrong I was). And if the demand for such demos is high (and it is) then the supply will hopefully also stay high (more demos please Stef!). Converting Spectrum games is a possibility. While there are numerous arguments in favour of such conversions, there are more cons than pros. Cost, as ever; finding somebody with the time and patience (and ability) to rake through and alter mountains of somebody else's machine code. Well, maybe there aren't more cons than pros, but they are pretty significant cons! BM Reply to Andrew Penny Converting Speccy 128k games directly over to SAM is not difficult in itself, and it has been done many many times (this is illegal, by the way, and FRED does not condone the practice of spreading such material around). Straight conversions are one thing, but think of what it would take to go through code and update graphics and keep things at sensible speeds and things. It really makes more sense to start from scratch. As for Streetfighter II; FRED will happily go about getting the licence for that as soon as somebody donates the millions of pounds (no exaggeration) which would be necessary to do so! I know we always harp on about the cost when it comes to matters such as this, but apart from the rare exception, companies don't give away such lucrative licences for the relative chickenfeed that even the top-selling SAM titles generate. For the moment it's going to have to be original titles only, I'm afraid. What's in a name anyway? - BRIAN "Letter" from Andrew Chandler I found this in the Daily Mirror... " CRUNCH TIME Vicar Brian McConnell is offering a bag of carrots to anyone lending a donkey for the Palm Sunday procession at Altrincham, Cheshire." Reply to Andrew Chandler I know it's hard to believe, but not one person offered me the donkey... - BRIAN Letter from Nick Lewis Dear Colin MacD, Please find enclosed an order form and a cheque for £18. In the future, do I need to send you my address as long as you have my membership number? The main reason I am writing is to offer you my services as an artist. Not a computer graphics artist but as a normal pencil to paper artist. For a long time I have wanted to contribute to the SAM scene, but I am a complete idiot when it comes to programming and as I will have a lot of free time after the dreaded exams then I could do with something to do. So if you need any work, I will try to satisfy. (Oo-er! Sorry - BRIAN) Another reason for writing is for offering you my opinion on your games. What I think you need to produce is a good solid sports simulation. My favourite games at the moment are EA Hockey, PGA Tour Golf, and Bulls Vs Lakers, all on my brother's Megadrive. Letter from Nick Lewis The reason I like these is that you can never complete them; you always come back to play a friend or your brother. I really believe that if you made a game, preferably a footy game like Kick Off 2 or Sensible Soccer, then SAM owners could really show off while their mates are enjoying themselves as well. I often go round to my mate's house to offer him a game of Sensible Soccer. I'm also an avid "Spurs" fan so perhaps I could help Spurs win something for once. I hope you will consider my points. Finally, can I get hold of a "protector", mentioned in the E-Tunes scroller of issue 32, in Britain with the good old quid? BM Reply to Nick Lewis Colin won't thank me for telling you all this, but he can be a bit prone to getting "confused" at times. Tragic, but it can't be helped. Anyway, it really helps him stay on his feet if you DO include your address with every correspondence. FRED will always need normal artists, for such things as inlay covers and other miscellaneous bits and pieces. Send in some samples of your work and we'll see what happens. Other readers take note here also! I have to agree with you about sports games; I'm rarely off PGA Tour Golf on my Amiga, and before I sold my Megadrive I had a few excellent sports sims. The problem is, these a much more difficult to write than most other genres. If anybody thinks themselves capable of writing such a game (or any game for that matter), please do contact us. We get a lot of letters from people saying that the way to win over potential SAM buyers is to produce excellent software. BM Reply to Nick Lewis This is true. Unfortunately people after games go for consoles or Amigas these days, and it's going to take one hell of a good game to dissuade them from getting a 16-BIT machine! If you ask me, the way to push the SAM is as something to ease the beginner into the world of not so much games as elementary computer DIY; programming, graphics, maybe even just the basics such as DOS. I don't know. Maybe that's an utterly daft idea. One thing is certain though; people interested in games, games, and - just occasionally - games, are not going to buy themselves a Coupe. Similarly, the more mature user isn't going to buy a computer which really doesn't have any applications software to rival that available to users of PCs and, to a lesser extent, Amigas. And no, you can't get the protector in Britain. You could buy SC_Autoboot from Steve Nutting, which does more or less the same, but neither have anything to do with FRED so you'll need to write to Stefan Drissen or the lad Nutting. - BRIAN Letter from Stefan Drissen Hi Colin and Brian, Firstly thanks a lot for E-Tracker and the discs, also thanks for replying to my letter and using my E-Player in FRED 32; the screen is very nice Brian. Please find enclosed a disc with some bits and pieces on it covering just about every aspect of things that come on FRED. Firstly there is an improved E-Player in which there is a second bar moving around in which you can put the name of the composer and tune, something that was lacking in my earlier version. Since this is a new program, there is a new text; feel free to change this after it has been on FRED once. The same "rules" for making text apply as last time. Secondly there is a program to convert Soundtracker song files to E-Tracker module files. I have also included a shortish text with it explaining how it works. Letter from Stefan Drissen Also on the disk are a number of screens converted from the PC game F29 Retaliator; this time the screens have been squashed to fit on the SAM instead of just showing a section of the screen as my last batch of PC screens did. The palettes have been selected by me since the palette data is not saved with the screen when I grab them using Windows 3.1. When I loaded the screens into a friend's SAM attached to a colour TV some of the colours look awful (I have a colour monitor) because a TV gives a much brighter picture than a monitor. These screens therefore look best on a monitor, unlike digitised screens which look better on a TV. Among the E-Tunes on the disc there is Open Your Mind, which I wrote a few days after receiving E-Tracker. E-Tracker is a very brilliant program, with only a few niggles. I also found the manual VERY good, especially the work-through example. How did I find the cheat in Wop Gamma? Oh, I just tried all possible combinations of things to do. Letter from Stefan Drissen No, seriously, a disassembler is the thing to use. Thanks for the password to level 21 on Waterworks; I already knew this (I wonder how?) but I thought that the game only had 20 levels and the extra levels were simply impossible levels for the hackers. The OUTLETTERS were interesting. It's sad to see the BOFH go, but then again, what else is there he can do that he hasn't done yet? Waterworks demo repeat: oh well, if it will help sales it's fine by me. That's about all I have to say; keep up the great work! BM Reply to Stefan Drissen Before I begin I think ought to explain to the readers about your apparent ambition to have an entire issue of FRED all to yourself! No, thanks heaps for all the stuff on the disk. We've used the screens this month, and I think it's safe to say that we'll be using the Soundtracker convertor, the E-Tracker player and some of the E-Tunes on the next issue. The Windows proggie was most impressive....(which will mean absolutely nothing to everyone else reading this, but never mind). Oh, and there was a reason behind QWERT - I'm just not going to tell you what it is! Ha ha ha ha ha... Your comments about Bettie Serveert have also been duly acknowledged. To compensate for the Waterworks repeat of last month we've commissioned a brand spanking new level for all you FRED readers, old and new, to enjoy. Don't miss FRED 34! BM A Quick Pre-Letter Message The next letter is from a certain Robert Pain. Name sound familiar? Well, that's because this is his 3rd sucessive appearance in the FRED letters section. You might be wondering if Robert slips the odd ten quid note with his letters, but no, he doesn't. No offence to Robert, but we if any letter's half-decent then it'll very probably get included! Robert's letters are of course perfect in every way, but please write in to us to let us know how you feel about the magazine. We don't get much mail like that, which is the reason certain names seem to keep cropping up again and again. So if you've got something to say, no matter how small it may seem, slip in a little letter with your next order or subscription or whatever. Fame COULD be yours! Right. Here's Robert (again) - BRIAN Letter from Robert Pain Dear Brian, Only me (again). Less praise, more questions in this letter. Firstly, look on the enclosed disc. Press 4. These are coloured BASIC lines, but how do you produce them? Here comes a barrage of questions so be prepared! About Invaders: Chris White talks of a Comet source file. I assume that this is for the Comet assembler, if so where can I get this program from? Was it on an earlier issue of FRED? Apart from this, Invaders looks promising (even though I don't know what the hell Chris was talking about (as you may have guessed). Second question: where can I get Lord Insanity's screen cruncher from? Again I assume that it was on an earlier issue of FRED. Oh well, I suppose it was inevitable; here comes the praise of the best disk-mag around. I love the new E-Tunes format (well done to all involved, especially Solar Flare). Letter from Robert Pain The OUTLETTERS section is a really good idea, I'm sure it will stay won't it? Lastly (as work calls), I would strongly recommend that you press ahead with the proposed OUTDEX idea. I for one believe that it would be an excellent feature, even if it was only a one-off idea. As always, keep up the excellent work! Just to clarify things, what copyright restrictions apply to any screens and E-tunes which appear on FRED? Can they be freely used in demos? Or do they have to be credited? (I know that E-Tracker has to be credited if anything produced on it is used). That's all. Bye. BM Reply to Robert Pain Ah. Now I know what you meant by "coloured lines in BASIC". Yes, I did know how to do that, thankyouverymuch. I did read my SAM manual you know! I liked your demo - especially the psychedelic bit at the beginning! I don't know yet if we'll use it or not, but we'll consider it. We ARE using your Gamesmaster program though; it's on this very issue! The Comet Assembler is indeed what Chris talks about, but I'm afraid it's never been on FRED, and isn't likely to either. You should be able to spot it on one of the FRED order forms that Colin regularly sends out. It's roughly £30 or so, which might seem a lot, but when you think about what you can do on it (ie write smart games) it's not too bad VFM. You're not the only one who asked us about the LI screen compressor, and without giving away too much, (well alright, giving away a heck of a lot) look in the Bits N Bobs section... BM Reply to Robert Pain Outletters will certainly stay on, but we need technical queries in order to include it. We haven't been able to include it this issue simply because no such queries arrived! Rest assured however that it will return as soon as possible. As far as E-Tunes and screens which appear on FRED are concerned, they are strictly speaking not to be used without consent from both Colin AND the original author. Generally though, as long as any demos using the screens/tunes are sent back into FRED we're not to strict about that side of things. I can't speak for everyone, but if anybody ever wants to use any of my screens then please feel free, as long as I get a mention somewhere along the line (my screens are the ones with AESTHETIX in the corner). DT DAYS OF SORCERY Hey-ho. Another month, another review. This un's DAYS OF SORCERY by Nigel Kettlewell. For those who didn't see it in FRED, here's Nigel's address:- [redacted] And D.O.S costs a nice round £9.99. DT DAYS OF SORCERY The SAM hasn't had much luck on the adventure front, really. First we had the FAMOUS FIVE, which is fine if you like the FAMOUS FIVE, and unfortunate because nobody actually does. This was followed by SHERIFF GUNN, which was quite good, and then DAY DREAM which was decidedly crap. Now into the fray steps D.O.S., by new author Nigel Kettlewell. Could this be the game spelunkers have been waiting for? Well everything starts nicely enough, with a 6 page manual containing a short story and lots of creepy pictures to get you into the mood. You are the king of England in the middle ages and on returning from the crusades you find your homeland in the grip of a deadly mist and your throne stolen by your dastardly ex-chancellor. Now the real king of England would probably get up a massive army and go and beat him up, but that's not really an option here. Instead you have to stop the mists by wandering around, using objects and making maps in true adventuring style. Not very kingly, but it gets the job done. DT DAYS OF SORCERY Actually there's rather more to DAYS OF SORCERY than just 'wandering around, using objects'. The character interaction, for one thing. There are a fair number of other people in the game, and they all seem to know more than you do, so it's important to ask the right questions. On the presentation side everything is top notch. Lovely graphics and atmospheric location descriptions add to the 'feel', and there are loads of options to change the font, colours, etc., so you can fiddle around to your hearts content (You know what I mean). You might have formed the opinion from the above that I rather like DAYS OF SORCERY. And you'd be right - it's by far the best adventure to appear on the SAMMY, and reminds me a bit of the games LEVEL 9 used to release on the spectrum. An involving plot,loads of atmosphere and wonderful graphics. DT DAYS OF SORCERY My only problem with D.O.S. is that it does tend to lack a sense of direction. However many problems you solve you never seem to get any nearer to your objective, you just find more dead ends. It gets rather disheartening when you finally solve the problem that's been keeping you awake for the last week, only to get stuck again almost immediately. Anyway, summing up time. DAYS OF SORCERY is a darn enjoyable adventure, and if you like this type of game then there really isn't any reason why you shouldn't get hours of fun out of it. However if you don't like adventures, (and a lot of people don't), then this probably isn't the game to convert you because it is a bit hard. I'd still recommend you give it a chance though, because it's rather a brill game to say the least. OVERALL:-80% If anyone feels like writing to me on a pen-friendly type basis then my address is:- [redacted] And DON'T try and order DAYS OF SORCERY off me, please. David Tallerman
DIY Space Invaders: MC Tutorial (Ctd.)
DIY Space Invaders Well after last month's massive text (Thanks to COLIN and BRIAN for correcting my abysmal English), we shall now go onto the MAIN GAME (and other routines). But due to the size of this I have been forced into splitting it into 2 issues. So this month is the SPRITE CONTROL and next month will be the print routines (you can still play the game but you can't see the enemy!). So what's on the disk? (the list below tells you). File name Discription IN-SOURCE Comet source file (second installment) Game Theory ----------- The two Inturpt sprites will now be use as the players ship (Int. sprite 1), And the players bullet (Int. sprite 2). We will also be linking two sprites together. This means that a sprite will also control the sprite directly after it. This will only need to be done for the base's and the big ship that floats across the top of the screen. There will also be 2 animation counters (GAME.JIFFY and INT.JIFFY). These will be increase every GAME.LOOP and inturpt jump so if we what to animate every 4th loop the AND JIFFY with 3 if zero (Z) then animate else no animate. Main Area Source Examination ---------------------------- **************************************************************** To mix this months source with the source you should have saved last month, All you do is load in the source you have saved the merge in this months source. The find the label MERGER this will take you to the start of the merged source. Then follow and act on the text messages there. Now this months source is all about the GAME.LOOP,INIT.GAME INIT.LEVEL,SPRITE.CONTROL and SPRITE-SUB.ROUTINES. How did you do in making a fade routine; did you bother? Well if you didn't then how will you learn to program? And you may need a FADE routine for your own programs. So write it. Also you may have notice that my print character routine was not the best way of doing things, So did you rewrite it. If no why not, If yes make sure that future text messages will work with your routine. Equates ------- First are the number of sprites in the game. With these set as equates you can alter them to as little or as much as you want easily. But don't forget to alter the info equates accordingly. Then we have the info equates, These are the address that each of the different sprites will start. E.g. the ALIENS will start at the beginnig of the sprite list, Where as the BASES will start at INFO.SIZE*45 (45 is no of aliens+bombs) ,+SPRITE.TABLE. Did that make sence (if not reread). The next is the spacing at start of level between each ALIEN, And the space between the BASES. Then we've got the misc. equates these are alien move down step,bullet step,bomb step,start lives no.,maximun levels. Then last is the start coordinates for the sprites, After which is the ship pause for explode and rebuild (Delay between each frame so we can see the thing animating), Then the pause after ship has died before we reactivate it, Maximun no of alien bombs that can be drop in any ycoord/4 (see ALIEN.BOMB). Then is the no. of digits in the score (7 makes 1 million). GAME.START ---------- This is where after pressing fire that the FRONT.END control (last months source), Will jump to. So we set stack back to top of memory (just incase we went mad before). Then INIT.GAME. Then we find the label NEXT.LEVEL, Well when we complete a level, We will jump back to this location to INIT.LEVEL (set by COMPLETE var). Then we start our GAME.LOOP, This is where we continually loop round untill we complete game/level or die. Inside our GAME.LOOP is a call to SPRITE.CONTROL then SCREEN, After that we display the score/lives to the top of the screen. Then we switch.screens, Increase GAME.JIFFY. Then test for player died (LIFE.LOST),complete level,game (NEXT.LEVEL/COMP .GAME). The we jump back to GAME.LOOP. INIT.GAME --------- After tha GAME.LOOP we will find the initalize game sub-routine this simply set complete to zero,lives to start.lives+"0" (+"0" so lives = asci number), And score to 0. INIT.LEVEL ---------- Set inturpt sprites to no print and set their programs to a return opcode. Put SCREEN.RAM low (opposite to VMPR setting) and clear. Then set the level to the number in COMPLETE (thats why we set complete to zero for a new game), And set the Alien startxy speed move and x increase/decrease from LEVEL.TAB. Clear COMPLETE,GAME.JIIFY,DOWN.FLAG,FLOOR.FLAG And ALIEN.DIED counters. Then we reset the SPRITE.TABLE in this order : ALIEN SPRITES 1: First we set the collision box size,Then we set the startxy (first alien is bottom left of block), Then we set the start sprite and set M.SPRITE for fraction addition (as we only have four aliens the bottom two rows are the same sprite). 2: Then we copy the info in ST.XCOORD to the current SPRITE.TABLE address (in DE). Then we increase x by ALIEN.SPACEX. if at end of line we decrease y by ALIEN.SPACEY. Then we add fraction to M.SPRITE and take high byte for sprite number. 3: Repeat 2 untill all Alien sprites are initisalised. BOMB SPRITES 1: First we set the collision box size,Then we set the state to dead and set the program to NEXT.SPRITE (there is no program for bomb until it's activated. 2: Then we copy the info in ST.XCOORD to the current SPRITE.TABLE address (in DE). 3: Repeat 2 untill all Bomb sprites are initisalised. BASE SPRITES 1: First we set the collision box size,Then we set the state to dead and set the program to BASE.PRG. 2: Then we copy the info in ST.XCOORD to the current SPRITE.TABLE address (in DE) for left base. Then we set the next sprite to the right base with out any program as the left base controls the right base. 3: Repeat 2 untill all Base sprites are initisalised. BIG SPRITES 1: First we set the collision box size,Then we set the state to dead and set the program to BIG.PRG. 2: Then we copy the info in ST.XCOORD to the current SPRITE.TABLE address (in DE) for left big. Then we set the next sprite to the right big with out any program as the left big controls the right big. If that didn't make sence the source should make it clearer so look and hopefully you will understand what I have done. After that we clear FIRE.COL table. This table is used when a alien drops a bomb to make sure that only MAX.IN.COL bombs are drop along any x coord (In other words only one bomb is drop between any 4 locations). Look at ALIEN BOMB. Then we display the current level number+1. We add one so level zero to the program is level one to the player. Then we display the screen with the level message on. Then we setup the inturpt sprites to the player ship and bullet as we did for the other sprites. The backdrop screen is copied into the play screens with the call to TRANS.COPY.SCR. Then we display the sprites onto the screen and switch screens. The set inturpt sprites active with no replace backgrounds. SPRITE.CONTROL -------------- This is the main Sprite control for all none inturpt sprites. Here we start at the beginning of the SPRITE.TABLE and copy the sprite info into M.XCOORD and jump to the control program for that sprite. We return to NEXT.SPRITE which copies the sprite info back into the SPRITE.TABLE Then repeats untill all sprites (MAX.SPRIT ES) are done. Then we make sure the right base's ycoord are the same as the left base's ycoord (If you remove this and shoot a base it sometimes moves up jaggedly). Then we test how many aliens have died and increase speed move and x increase on 15/20/25/30/35 and 39, So aliens move faster as they decrease in numbers. Then we test for aliens on floor. If yes we set ship to explode and set DOWN.FLAG to FLOOR.FLAG so aliens only animate. SPRITE-SUB ROUTINES ------------------- These are the control programs for all sprites and we jump into these programs from SPRITE.CONTROL. Also on the stack when we entry these control programs will be the address of the information in the SPRITE.TABLE. So for linked sprites we can POP IY then PUSH IY, This will but the address into IY and restore back on stack for SPRITE.CONTROL (see BASE.PRG). ALIEN.R/L.PRG ------------- There are two routines (ALIEN.R.PRG and ALIEN.L.PRG) which move the block of aliens right and left, But the both do the same thing (Near inuf). First we test if explode. If yes goto ALIEN.EXP.PRG Then test if time for move. This is done be getting (ALIEN.MOVE) then anding with GAME.JIFFY if zero goto MOVE.R/L. Then check if alien move down if so ALIEN.DN.PRG.Else if on floor NEXT.SPRITE. Else goto ALIEN.BOMB. MOVE.R/L -------- First we animate the alien xoring the sprite number with one (We only have two frames and they start on even numbers so xor with one will do). Then we move right/left by adding/subtracting (ALIEN.MOVE+1) to the xcoord and then testing for of the edge of the screen. If so set DOWN.FLAG to 2. (2 means next game loop we move down). Then ALIEN.BOMB ALIEN.DN.PRG ------------ We only get here if DOWN.FLAG = 1 then we move the alien down the screen by ALIEN.DOWN and set the new program (set to DE by ALIEN.R/L.PRG). Then we test for alien on floor is so set FLOOR.FLAG to 130. Then NEXT.SPRITE. Else we goto ALIEN.BOMB. ALIEN.EXP.PRG ------------- First we animate the sprite explode frame and test if we have reached the end of explode sequence. if no goto NEXT.SPRITE. Else we kill alien then increase ALIEN.DIED. If all aliens have died we set COMPLETE to LEVEL+1 so the GAME.LOOP will now to goto NEXT.LEVEL. ALIEN.BOMB ---------- This is where we test if the alien can drop a bomb, That's if there are any not in use. We do this like this : First we test if VAR1 (wait counter before alien can drop a bomb), =0. If not goto ALIEN.COLI. Then we clear wait counter (just in case bomb not ready or ship not in vacinity). Then we test if ship is died or ship has died but in wait state. If yes to either we goto ALIEN.COLI (no point in wasting a bomb on something that's died). Then we do a check (just like BOX.COLLISION but only on the x plane), To see if the alien can drop a bomb and hit the ship if it doesn't move, And test if there is any bomb's not in use. If no to either then goto ALIEN.COLI. If we get here we take the alien xcoord and divide by 4 and add this to FIRE.COL. then test if that location equals MAX.IN.COL. If yes goto NEXT.SPRITE. (make sure that only MAX.IN.COL bombs can drop in same area, This stops all five bomb's being used by five aliens in a column). Else increase column count the set bomb to alien's xycoords and set the bomb to active we the BOMB.PRG for control program. ALIEN.COLI ---------- This routine check's the current alien against all four base's (only need to check four because two sprites are linked together). If collision is detected set base to goto BASE.EXP.PRG. Else NEXT.SPRITE BOMB.PRG -------- This moves the bomb down the screen and test if of the bottom of the screen. If yes goto KILL.BOMB. else drop into BOMB.COLI. BOMB.COLI --------- This test collision between the bomb and the base's. If detected we move the base down,decrease hit count. If not zero goto KILL.BOMB. Else set base to explode and goto KILL.BOMB. If no base collision we test for ship collision. If no detection we goto NEXT.SPRITE. Else we call SET.SHIP.EXP and goto KILL.BOMB. KILL.BOMB --------- Here we set the bomb to died and decrease the FIRE.COL for our xcoord. Then goto NEXT.SPRITE BIG.WAIT.PRG ------------ This does a crap (but okayish) check if big ship is aloud to enter the game. If >128 then goto NEXT.SPRITE. (you could do a RANDOM NUMBER GENERATOR for this test) If <128 then set ship left+right alive and set left program to BIG.PRG. Then goto NEXT.SPRITE. BIG.PRG ------- Test if big ship is exploding. If yes BIG.EXP.PRG. Else move big ship across the screen at 4 bytes per loop. Then test if of right of screen (xcoord>=128), If no goto NEXT.SPRITE. If off screen set ship to died and set control program to BIG.WAIT.PRG. BIG.EXP.PRG ----------- First we set the right sprite for big ship to died, Then we animate the sprite number and test for end of explode sequence. If no goto NEXT.SPRITE. Else we kill big ship and set control program to BIG.WAIT.PRG. BASE.PRG -------- We get the info address of stack in IY. Then we test if base is exploding. If yes goto BASE.EXP.PRG. Else we set the state of base left to base right (so that right will be the same as left). Then we test if base is to low (in players way), If no NEXT.SPRITE. Else set base to explode. and set control program to BASE.EXP.PRG. Then NEXT.SPRITE. BASE.EXP.PRG ------------ Then we animate the sprite number and test for end of explode sequence. If no goto NEXT.SPRITE. Else we kill base and set control program to NEXT.SPRITE. That just about covers the sprite control programs now onto a lighter note (as in a easy routine). INC.SCORE --------- The following routine will increase the score by 1 to 1 million just by calling INC.SCR???? . Where the ??? = one of these - 1/10/100/1000/10000/100000/1000000. And I refuse to explain what each one does 'cause if ya don't know now you never will. By the way in INC.SCR10000 it will increase the lives by one look and see if ya don't believe me. Next we get on down to the HEAVY stuff again and yes it sprite control again but this time its for the INTURPT SPRITES. INTURPT.CONTROL --------------- These are the control programs for the players ship and bullet and are only used by the INTURPT.SERVER just like the ICON.PRG for the FRONT.END. SHIP.PRG -------- If all is honky dorry with the player then we will arrive here at this routine. So we test if the ship is in limbo (died but still in wait state). If no goto NO.DIED. Else we decrease the wait counter. If not zero RETURN. If zero we reset inturpt xy to SHIP.STARTXY and set ship to fully loaded ship (The ship has a bullet to fire). NO.DIED ------ I gave this a label because it follows all the other goto's that had headings. Back to the source please. OKAY DOKEY and TICKATY BOO (that's means OKAY in brum). The varable INT.XY holds the x and y coord for our input device, But we only want the x for the ship. So first we copy the intx to shipx. Then we test if the ship has a bulled (SHIP.FULL in sprite number), And if Fire is press if either of these are not so the RETURN. If we have pressed fire we then set the bulletxy to the shipxy-6, (y-6 so bullet starts a bullet position in ship). Then we set the bullet.prg,state alive and bullet sprite (just incase its changed). Then we set the ship sprite to empty and ship program to REBUILD and RETURN. REBUILD ------- Set shipx to intx (as in NO.DIED). Then test if animtation can take place with the varable INT.JIFFY. If none zero RETURN. Else increase sprite number. Does Sprite number equal rebuild end frame, If no RETURN. Set ship to full and control program to SHIP.PRG and RETURN. ALIEN.LAND ---------- This is called by SPRITE.CONTORL and sets the FLOOR.FLAG to 129 (so no come here again). Then drops into SET.SHIP.EXP. SET.SHIP.EXP ------------ Set ship sprite to explode first frame, control program to SHIP.EXP.PRG, state to 1 (exploding) and RETURN. SHIP.EXP.PRG ------------ Just increase sprite number untill we reach last explode frame. If no RETURN. Set ship state to -1 (dead) and set control program to RETURN.OP (a return instruction). Next up in the inturpt sprite control programs is the bullet one's, And these go something like this : BULLET.PRG ---------- Simple decrese the bullet y coord using BULLET.SPEED. Test if of top of screen. If not goto BULLET.COLI. KILL.BULLET ----------- Set bullet to dead,bullet control program to RETURN.OP and set ship control program to REBUILD. BULLET.COLI ----------- Box Collision check the bullet against the aliens. If hit set alien to explode and KILL.BULLET. Else check against big ship. If hit set big to explode and KILL.BULLET Else test if hit base's. If not hit RETURN. Else move base up,decrease hit count. If count <> 0 the RETURN. Else set base to explode then RETURN. And thats all the inturpt sprite control programs. Next in the source is VARS for the sprites. These are self explanitory so have a look. Then we have the TEXT messages, Look at DIS.TOP this holds the score values and the no of lives. Storing then like this saves time in printing and also slows down CHEAT searchers ('cause they will be looking for a DEFB 4 not a DEFB "4"). After that there are the TABLES. I will try to explain some of these. M.XCOORD is the start of the copy area for our SPRITE.CONTORL program. This makes getting values easier and quicker that using IX or IY (But we sometimes still have to use them). ST.XCOORD is the area that we use to initalise the sprites at the beginning of each level. LEVEL.TAB this holds the level info for the aliens in the following order : STARTXY - Start for bottom left alien MOVE - Start pause delay before aliens can move SPEED - Start speed x increase/decrease FIRE.COL is the column count for ALIEN BOMB routines SPRITE.TABLE this is the start of the sprites information tables stored sequencly (one after the other). Its size is take from MAX.SPRITES*INFO.SIZE, So it will increase/decrease if any modifcations is done to the size of the table, Or number of sprites. Screen Area Source Examination ------------------------------ Next and I'm afraid the last this month is the routines for the screen lines. SCREEN ------ This at the moment preserves the GAME STACK and HMPR, Then sets up the SCREEN.STACK and the inturpt vector or the SCREEN AREA. Next month we will put the replace and print sprite routines here. Then we replace GAME STACK and HMPR and set the inturpt vector for MAIN AREA. TRANS.COPY.SCR -------------- This copys the background screen from bank 10 to the game screens (BANK 12 and BANK 14), But also preserves and replaces the STACK,HMPR and INT VECTOR as in SCREEN. Well I think after last months 14 pages (58 lines p/page), I will end here 9 pages. Hope you can understand how to copy the source into last months and don't forget to save it afterwards. Untill next month (PRINTING MONTH). Chris J. White.