Author Topic: Christmas With The Amstrad  (Read 381 times)

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Offline WiltshireWizard

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Christmas With The Amstrad
« on: 17:14, 01 December 20 »
Thought I would start a thread, seeing as it is now the 1st December, about all things Christmassy on the Amstrad! Not necessarily Christmas themed games, but games you associate with Christmas simply because you had them at Christmas!


For me, my strongest memory is of unwrapping the wonderful compilation, on disk no less, of The Magnificent Seven, particularly as I previously owned none of those games so all were new to me. The stand out of course was Head Over Heels, a game I spent countless hours playing and one of the very few I completed back in the day. Other highlights were The Great Escape, Arkanoid and Wizball. The least played game on there was Cobra, which I found average. Oh, I tell a lie, I did own one game, Yie Ar Kung Fu, the supposedly 'free' bonus game in the collection!


But of course, that was all on the CPC6128. Going back further to Christmas 1984 was when I had the Amstrad CPC464 in my stocking (and what a large stocking it must have been...) and playing the games in the free 12 pack that was given with it at the time was a joy. You see, I basically had no frame of reference for quality! So to me, Sultan's Maze, Roland On The Ropes and Bridge-It were amazing! But a few months later, after saving weeks of pocket money, I bought Manic Miner, and discovered what a *real* game should look like.


Also, memories of buying the festive editions of Amstrad Action and Amtix! are still strong too. Great days :-)

Offline Shaun M. Neary

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Re: Christmas With The Amstrad
« Reply #1 on: 17:56, 01 December 20 »
I like these threads, but I fear I'm going to keep typing in the same answers!!  :doh:

Christmas 86, got my CPC. I remember feeling really deflated loading Sultans Maze and how unplayable the game was for a ten year old. Written solely in BASIC, the thing took hours to draw the mazes! I remember burning a lot of time on Harrier Attack, Oh Mummy and Roland On The Ropes though.

Christmas 87, I got a keyboard (musical) and a twin deck tape recorder, so I didn't get anything for my CPC as such, but when I discovered I could record games onto blank tapes, that soon changed. You could hear my shock and excitement heard from blocks away when my taped copy of Paperboy loaded. I would continue to spend a small fortune on blank cassette tapes from there on in. As a result of this discovery, my keyboard never got a second look for years later.

Christmas 88, and I eagerly anticipated the US Gold History In The Making box set, and loaded up Super Cycle upon cracking it open! AA gave it a relatively unfair score I believe. Also playing Spy Hunter and World Games was another memory. Then I overdid it on the Christmas pudding and was sick for two days.

Christmas 89, Got a quickshit joystick (not a typo, the stupid thing bust after a couple of months), Pacmania, Street Fighter, 1943 and The Story So Far volume 2 as I was fans of those games, as well as Space Harrier. God, what a disappointing batch of games. Space Harrier is awesome but Street Fighter was ridiculously easy and had a tedious multiload. Pacmania was a slow speccy port and there were literally only 2 screens on 1943 that ran on repeat.

Christmas 90, Got a mountain bike that year, so tape deck to the rescue. By this point I had joined a game rental company where you could rent games, tape and disk, for a week. I'd raid the compilations and record them to tapes and send them back and repeated the process until the collection grew! Some games played that Christmas were Nebulus, Technocop, Motor Massacre, Netherworld, Cybernoid, Beach Volley amongst othrs.

Christmas 91, Got a social life for Christmas!! By then I'm nearly 16 so I'm not spending a lot of time with the Amstrad much, but I was playing a lot of Sim City, Multi Player Soccer Manager and Shadow Dancer. It would be my last Christmas with my trusty Amstrad...

... UNTIL I GOT SICK OF SOCIALISING!!!

Christmas 94. That summer I was sick of the clubs and rock bars in Dublin that I literally had just vanished. So I ended up powering back the old Amstrad up and bought some AA back issues for the covertapes to try and boost my games collection back up again after recording over a lot of my taped stuff with metal. Ikari Warriors, Fantasy World Dizzy, Stormlord, all came with the back issues as well as ordering a ton of French game compilations that the likes of OJ software etc were selling.

Christmas 95. I'd somehow obtained a DDI1 interface and disk drive for my 464 so fast loading made playing my Amstrad game more appealing than going console. So I'd bought a bunch of ex software house disks and started transferring a lot of my tape games to disk (Bonzo utilities = AWESOME!), The internet is beginning to bubble here as well, so I'd gotten introduced to the NVG archive, which would serve as a project for...

Christmas 96. By then, I was using some DOS based program to bust the contents of the dsk files from NVG to Amiga 720k floppies and then borrowed a friends 3.5" drive to copy these to 3" disks. By then, it was getting more difficult to obtain the disks though, but I had two double cases of disks full to the brim with Amstrad games.

By Christmas 97, I was nearly 22, I'd gotten a PC then so I went the emulator route and all the above wound up in the attic... you don't want to know what happened 10 years later... you won't be able to handle the pain. ;)
Currently playing on: 2xCPC464, 1xCPC6128, 1x464Plus, 1x6128Plus, 2xGX4000. M4 board, ZMem 1GB and still forever playing Bruce Lee.
No cheats, snapshots or emulation. I play my games as they're intended to be played. What about you?

Offline Sykobee (Briggsy)

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Re: Christmas With The Amstrad
« Reply #2 on: 19:54, 01 December 20 »
I got my second hand green screen 464 late on, for XMas '88 I recall. I was just 11 then.
Being second hand, it came with a big back catalogue of magazines (ACU issue 1 onwards and some CWTAs), and business software (boo!), a full computer course/advanced computer course set (which I still have) and very few games that I remember.


So my first CPC Christmas game experiences were magazine type-ins, which from the years of magazines I had, I rapidly built a library ... of simple BASIC games. I had high motivation to make the games better and more fun by modifying them. I especially remember CWTA Frutties and Mad Adder to this day, as I spent a lot of time adding different level layouts. I remember following the ACU/CWTA adventure game writing tutorials as well, that was pretty fun.


http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/File:Madadder4.png
http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/File:Frutties11.png


Apart from that Harrier Attack was an early favourite, and Roland on the Ropes, in the Caves, and so on. And then I got one of those game club subscription things and gained a big collection of late 80s and early 90s games, and then a 6128. I got GAC in that too, spent many an hour designing and writing adventure games. The 464 I took apart out of curiosity, which is a shame because as it came with such early ACUs it was likely one of the first revision. In the end, helped by a box set of 50 Mastertronic games on disc, and the local newsagent having a budget software section, I must have had over 100 games.


A short while after I got an Amiga 500 for fifty quid. In 93/94 the 6128 got sold with all my games and discs to fund an Amiga 1200.


I look back and wonder how I fitted so much computing into those early years. These days I blink and a year has passed.

Offline VincentGR

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Re: Christmas With The Amstrad
« Reply #3 on: 22:08, 01 December 20 »
Christmas 89 (I think)
I was forcing my grandma to watch me playing matchday.
Then an original copy of Double Dragon arrived, I still have it here with me.
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Offline WiltshireWizard

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Re: Christmas With The Amstrad
« Reply #4 on: 23:35, 01 December 20 »

Christmas 88... Then I overdid it on the Christmas pudding and was sick for two days.




*solid gold memory*!  :D :D :D :D

Offline WiltshireWizard

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Re: Christmas With The Amstrad
« Reply #5 on: 23:42, 01 December 20 »


And then I got one of those game club subscription things and gained a big collection of late 80s and early 90s games...



Was this The Home Computer Club? One of the many clubs from the Swindon based Guild Publishing, that also ran Science Fiction book clubs, History book clubs, Thriller book clubs etc?


I joined the Home Computer Club sometime around 1987 at a guess, maybe earlier. I remember it offering games that my local software stores didn't stock. Chuckie Egg 2 was one I bought from the club, and rather enjoyed it (despite the average scores in most magazine). There was also a big boxed game I bought from them called Interdictor Pilot, an Elite clone. Well, very poor Elite clone. But I enjoyed it as one novelty is that you could turn off all the power in the ship and so the control display would all change a different colour to indicate you had powered down, and supposedly drifting in space. I thought it was such a neat trick back then and would call my friends over and boot up this game, only to power down the ship in the hope they would be as impressed by it as I was.


They weren't.

Offline WiltshireWizard

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Re: Christmas With The Amstrad
« Reply #6 on: 23:44, 01 December 20 »
Christmas 89 (I think)
I was forcing my grandma to watch me playing matchday.
Then an original copy of Double Dragon arrived, I still have it here with me.


I remember my dear grandparents wandering through the dining room - where I would be left on a Saturday evening playing games for hours on end - and catching me playing Barry Mcguigans Boxing, which I loved so much back then. They actually stood and cheered me on for a few fights!

Offline Shaun M. Neary

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Re: Christmas With The Amstrad
« Reply #7 on: 03:07, 02 December 20 »
Christmas 89 (I think)
I was forcing my grandma to watch me playing matchday.
Then an original copy of Double Dragon arrived, I still have it here with me.

Pure evil! Life goes slow enough for the elderly without making it slower involving MatchDay!  :laugh: :laugh:
Currently playing on: 2xCPC464, 1xCPC6128, 1x464Plus, 1x6128Plus, 2xGX4000. M4 board, ZMem 1GB and still forever playing Bruce Lee.
No cheats, snapshots or emulation. I play my games as they're intended to be played. What about you?

Offline Shaun M. Neary

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Re: Christmas With The Amstrad
« Reply #8 on: 03:08, 02 December 20 »

*solid gold memory*!  :D :D :D :D
Yep! If you didn't do this once in your life, did you even bother living?!
Currently playing on: 2xCPC464, 1xCPC6128, 1x464Plus, 1x6128Plus, 2xGX4000. M4 board, ZMem 1GB and still forever playing Bruce Lee.
No cheats, snapshots or emulation. I play my games as they're intended to be played. What about you?

Offline zeropolis79

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Re: Christmas With The Amstrad
« Reply #9 on: 09:48, 02 December 20 »
I always thought it was Christmas 84 when i got my first CPC but now I believe it was Christmas 85 as it came wiht the 12 Game Pack...


The first game I recall recieving at Christmas was Short Circuit on the Hit Squad label.. Other games I got at Christmases included the two Turtles games, Turrican, Turrican 2 and Heroes of the Lance on the Kixx label, Hero Quest, Klax, Thunderbirds.

Offline Sykobee (Briggsy)

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Re: Christmas With The Amstrad
« Reply #10 on: 12:59, 02 December 20 »
Was this The Home Computer Club?

I believe it was, it rings a bell.

They'd send through a pamphlet of their offerings each month in the post, and you would post back your order.

Offline norecess

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Re: Christmas With The Amstrad
« Reply #11 on: 14:45, 02 December 20 »
My brother got the Amstrad CPC 6128 for Xmas 1988, when I was 8.
I felt lucky because:
  • the first games I ever played in my life were Fruity Frank, Bomb Jack, 1942, Commando and the 2 Titus Compilations (clones of Pacman, Breakout, Space Invaders, etc). I also remember Decathlon and Target Renegade, but they weren't my favorites.
  • my brother quickly lost interest (preferring taking lessons of guitar), so I got the Amstrad directly in my room 1 year later.  ;D
« Last Edit: 14:48, 02 December 20 by norecess »