Amstrad CPC thread

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  • Blerk Moderator 16 Jun 2004 09:58:27 48,222 posts
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    Just finished reading the CPC article in this month's Retro Gamer and came away with a bit more knowledge than I had before. Back in the 80s the 'real' kids had Spectrums, the 'posh' kids had Beebs, the 'different for the sake of being different' kids had C64s and... nobody had Amstrads.

    They were just the 'third format' that appeared on all the adverts - the Speccy screenshots were monochrome or garish, the C64 shots were any colour you liked as long as it was black, brown or grey, and the Amstrad shots were presented in ultra-mega-block-o-vision.

    I notice in the article that the guy says 'classics' like Exploding Fist, Boulderdash and Manic Miner were 'instant hits'. All well and good, but none of them were originally Amstrad games.

    /gets to the point

    So... who wants to own up to being an Amstrad owner? And what good Amstrad games were there, not just ones that appeared on loads of other formats?
  • pjmaybe 16 Jun 2004 10:00:23 70,666 posts
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    I had an Amstrad.

    Don't laugh - I thought it was ace for about 5 seconds, then I got a C64 and that pretty much put the kybosh on it.

    I think the only "original" CPC game I could seriously say I spent a lot of time on was some weird French isometric 3D game, the name of which escapes me...

    Peej
  • pjmaybe 16 Jun 2004 10:04:23 70,666 posts
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    Get Dexter! That was the name of the game.

    Beach Head was ace, as was Sorcery...er what else. Cauldron 1 & 2, Sacred Armour of Antiriad, Raid over Moscow. All classics.

    Peej
  • UncleLou Moderator 16 Jun 2004 10:09:07 40,685 posts
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    Back in the 80s the 'real' kids had Spectrums, the 'posh' kids had Beebs, the 'different for the sake of being different' kids had C64s and... nobody had Amstrads.


    In Germany, everybody had a C64. I don't think I know anyone who had a Spectrum, but a few weirdos actually had Amstrads.

    So the C64 wasn't that popular in the UK?
  • pjmaybe 16 Jun 2004 10:11:12 70,666 posts
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    Yeah it was very popular. I think the Speccy was more popular though, only just (mainly because the playground piracy thing was a lot more rife with Speccy owners)

    CPCs, I think a lot of parents got conned in Dixons because they used to really push it at people coming in to buy either a C64 or a Speccy...

    Peej
  • Blerk Moderator 16 Jun 2004 10:14:49 48,222 posts
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    I think the C64/Spectrum thing worked in 'pockets'. If more people had a Spectrum, anyone who was buying a computer also bought a Spectrum... and vice-versa. It was the whole 'playground piracy' racket - you bought what everyone else had so as to maximise your game pool. So at our school, nearly everyone had a Speccy. But at another school it may well have been a very different story.

    Chaps, most of the games you're listing were all converted to Amstrad from other formats. Get Dexter is a good example of an Amstrad-specific game.... come on, I need more examples! There must be more out there!
  • BravoGolf Moderator 16 Jun 2004 10:18:00 12,787 posts
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    We had an amstrad upstairs in the attic, it was never used really.

    I think once we used it for a few months when we broke another C64 tape deck.
  • Retroid Moderator 16 Jun 2004 10:19:54 45,464 posts
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    The CPC had some good games made for it - isometric games in particular because of the 4 colour hires mode - but a good number of the multiformat games released for it were... shite.

    Still like it as a machine, though.
  • ssuellid 16 Jun 2004 10:26:45 19,141 posts
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    There was that 'spell' something game that was disc only which was rather good. Plus you got all the infocom games as it had CPM bundled with it.
  • binky Moderator 16 Jun 2004 10:35:17 11,159 posts
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    I had a CPC 464 with green monitor too!! :D had it for absolutely ages.

    Harrier Attack, and Oh Mummy! own j00z :)))

    Steve Davis' Snooker was a bit tough without using the colour TV linky thing tho :)
  • Retroid Moderator 16 Jun 2004 10:36:02 45,464 posts
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    Nice machine but it was way underpowered for all those extra colours.

    C64 could cope with multicolour because of hardware scrolling & sprites.

    Spectrum could cope with no hardware for those because it had a faster CPU to shift around less data.

    CPC had all that extra data to shift around, plus a slightly slower CPU than a Spectrum, so somewhere in between :/

    Cybernoid, Exolon, Barbarian etc. were really very good - mostly because they could be colourful with no scrolling. Anyone who's tried to play games like Bounder on the CPU will know how painful an experience scrolling can be >_
  • Tiger_Walts 16 Jun 2004 10:43:07 16,674 posts
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    My god did the CPC464 suck. It had what? 11 more colours than the C64 and a higher res. Big deal, the C64 didn't have a sound processor built on 2-bit (That's what it sounded like) architecture and actually had a hi-res mode that was better than the CPC. Also some clever feller managed to get sprites to flick between 2 colours very quickly, giving the impression of a new colour and the odd seizure, possibly.

    I do agree with C64's tape deck build quality though. When loading a game we usually set it going, then crept out of the room, poking our noses in a regular intervals to se how it was doing. Didn't need to do that for the Firebird games though, they counted up the bytes loaded and if it stopped you could rewind a bit and try and pick it up again. :D

    Oh and one more thing, did any other 8-bit home computer have 8-way scrolling? No.

    /goes to get a C= tatoo
  • LaundroMat 16 Jun 2004 10:46:36 1,443 posts
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    I had an ultra-l337 CPC 6128 with colour monitor. It was my first computer, and I spent ages on it. I really liked the machine.

    Near the end of its life, there were some French demo groups who did some amazing stuff: they created mode 0 colour demo's with mode 2 graphics! Incredible!

    Moments fondly remembered:
    - "programming" in BASIC
    - finding out that with a certain poke you could un-delete what was on a disk (and on an empty disk I bought in a store suddenly appeared Green Beret)
    - "cracking" (ie: changing the ASCII text in games)
    - playing around with a graphics program (it also existed on the ST)

    Games most fondly remembered Beach Head, Loup Garou (isometric), Bruce Lee, Exploding Fist, Yie Ar Kung Fu, Kung Fu Master, Exolon (I can still whistle the title tune), Matchday, Mikie, Wonderboy (good port), The Pawn (Infocom adventure), Arkanoid, Renegade, Trailblazer, Frank Bruno's Boxing, Freddy Hardest (very cool game character) and Sabre Wulf. Oh, and Gryzor! Great arcade port!

    I had quite a collection at the time, but dammit those 3" disks were expensive!

    I think the CPC was very popular in France and Spain. Many games were localised or even made in these countries.

    Edited by LaundroMat at 09:50:23 16-06-2004
  • Jonsend 16 Jun 2004 10:49:50 820 posts
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    I had a CPC-464, particular games I can remember are Roland in Time, Turbo the Tortoise and NOMAD (which took about 15 mins to load).
  • Blerk Moderator 16 Jun 2004 10:50:01 48,222 posts
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    Loup Garou (isometric)

    A-ha! There's one I've never heard of! Do I smell.... Amstrad exclusive? At last!

    \o/
  • Deleted user 16 June 2004 10:51:52
    My brother had a 6128 that I inherited. I really loved it at the time, but compared to the Amigas and STs that everyone else had it was a bit of a let down. My fondest memories game wise were:

    Green Beret
    Excelon
    XOR
    Ingrid's back
    Match day 2
    Dark side (I think its was called that. Sequel to Driller)
    Combat School
  • LaundroMat 16 Jun 2004 10:53:33 1,443 posts
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    Blerk wrote:
    Loup Garou (isometric)

    A-ha! There's one I've never heard of! Do I smell.... Amstrad exclusive? At last!

    \o/

    Cough. That was the French name of the game. I now remember it was actually Knightlore.

    Heh. Sorry.

    Wasn't Freddy Hardest a CPC exclusive?
  • ssuellid 16 Jun 2004 10:54:14 19,141 posts
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    CPC664 was probably the first decent machine for connecting crap to and programming. I had a printer, shedloads of 5.25 and 3.5 drives, a few 8" drives, rom box with editors, assemblers, bcpl, discology for copying anything - even drilled PC games etc. The best toy was a Romantic Robot Multiface 2 for copying the entire current memory image to disc - perfect for copying tape based games or for instant save games.
  • Blerk Moderator 16 Jun 2004 10:55:21 48,222 posts
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    Wasn't Freddy Hardest a CPC exclusive?

    Nah, there was at least a Spectrum version too.
  • pjmaybe 16 Jun 2004 10:55:27 70,666 posts
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    Get Dexter certainly was a CPC exclusive for a long while...though I think it did eventually end up ported elsewhere.

    Most of the stuff I remember with any fondness though was all just stuff ported either from the Speccy and hepped up a bit graphically/sonically or ported over from the C64. Oh plus the obligatory naff licences.


    Peej
  • binky Moderator 16 Jun 2004 10:56:59 11,159 posts
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    ROLAND ON THE ROPES!!
    BRIDGE-IT!

    aawww the memories!
  • LaundroMat 16 Jun 2004 11:05:35 1,443 posts
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    I forgot about Ikari Warriors too. Excellent port that was.

    I've had that computer for quite a while actually, and I really blame it for my loss of eyesight and the nerd factor I've never seemed to have lost since then.

    When I sold it, I told the buyer (a mother of two children, anxious not to let them lose out on the technology side of things) that they should come to the computer club I was a member of, as there were many people with CPC's there.

    I had bought an Amiga 500 with the money I sold my CPC for, brought it over to the computer club and started playing Stuntcar Racer with a friend of mine. Just as I was telling the friend how I sold the CPC for exactly the amount of money I needed for the Amiga, and how I thought the Amiga was sooo much better, the woman I sold the machine to appeared to be standing next to me during the whole conversation.

    Another game I remembered: The Goonies. Never got past level two!

    Great memories. I shall not taint them by installing an emulator and some disk images on the xbox. Oh no.

    Must. Resist. Retro. Melancholy.
  • Blerk Moderator 16 Jun 2004 11:06:00 48,222 posts
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    Get Dexter certainly was a CPC exclusive for a long while...though I think it did eventually end up ported elsewhere.

    It did - I played the ST version for a bit.


    ROLAND ON THE ROPES!!

    Am I right in thinking that was an Amstradised version of Speccy classic 'Fred'?
  • LaundroMat 16 Jun 2004 11:07:32 1,443 posts
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    Another one to write in the book of sad things I have done. Because I was so fond of my CPC, I cut out game advertisements from the gaming magazines and wrapped them around my school books.
  • Blerk Moderator 16 Jun 2004 11:13:22 48,222 posts
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    I used to do that too! \o/
  • Shinji 16 Jun 2004 11:14:11 5,902 posts
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    I was a CPC owner - right from the 464 through to owning a 6128+ when everyone else was buying Amigas and PCs. I couldn't really name any particularly classic games, though - I played a fair few but with the exception of a few obvious ones like Elite, North and South and what have you, I didn't really spend much time gaming; I learned assembler and ended up coding demos and stuff on them instead. Whatever about their prowess as gaming machines, they were ACE for learning fairly hardcore computery stuff on. You aren't a real programmer if you haven't written bouncy raster bar routines, assembly level interrupt driven music, and hacked a 3.5" PC floppy drive onto the motherboard with a soldering iron because you couldn't buy 3" discs any more :)
  • Retroid Moderator 16 Jun 2004 11:23:12 45,464 posts
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    Shinji wrote:
    You aren't a real programmer if you haven't written bouncy raster bar routines, assembly level interrupt driven music, and hacked a 3.5" PC floppy drive onto the motherboard with a soldering iron because you couldn't buy 3" discs any more :)
    \o/

    I've done all of those apart from the floppy drive bit!

    /31337
  • Blerk Moderator 16 Jun 2004 11:24:25 48,222 posts
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    So... anyone want to admit buying 'plus' model or.... a GX4000? :-D
  • Tiger_Walts 16 Jun 2004 11:29:20 16,674 posts
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    Blerk wrote:
    So... anyone want to admit buying 'plus' model or.... a GX4000? :-D
    I had one in my hands a few months back, it didn't work. It has a worse case design than the Xbox.
  • Deleted user 16 June 2004 11:29:56
    I had a Spectrum + 2 at one point.

    As for the GX4000, I remember my mum trying to convince me to get one of those over a Jap Megadrive. As if!

    Then again, looking at ebay, I'd be laughing now. I seem to remember that it had a decent version of Robocop.
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