Sunday, 7 December 2008

Spectrum is...Red?

When you're young there are great opportunities for going out every night until 2am with your friends, partying the night away and having a good time. But what if you're a sad, sad bastard like me? See, no-one has ever considered that, probably because no-one gives a toss. I however, do, and so will show everyone the light - turn your state-of-the-art computer into a Spectrum emulator! Of course, I've covered this topic on my site before (see if you can find that article. It's so cunningly described), but having found more games to play, my destiny was obvious...

Jetset Willy 2
 Jetset Willy 2 is an... odd game. In fact odd is probably the most sane word possible to describe it. For some reason you play a tiny guy in a hat who must run about a house, collecting glowing taps and things for no reason. All to a computerized rendition of Hall Of The Mountain King. For an example of it's eternal strangeness, take a look at the picture above in the middle. Look, it's Satan bouncing up and down in a library - an obvious choice for inclusion in a game. And if the twirling macaroni maker on caterpillar treads doesn't get you, you're pretty lucky.

For some reason, one of the levels of this game sees you turning into a flying pig that doesn't fly, and is menaced by the foot from Monty Python. A high-concept game indeed, probably with many hidden layers. Such as the room in which Willy's wife blocks the door to the bed, obviously ordering him to collect all the taps he can find so that she can sleep with him safe in the knowledge that all the glowing taps are in one place.

Surely the greatest game ever created, JetPac puts you in charge of a jetpack and laser gun, with a mission to fly across the screen avoiding the evil pixels and picking up massive chunks of spaceship with your bare hands, dropping them onto each other to build a whole spaceship. The art of dropping one bit onto another seems to bypass such stupid ideas such as 'mechanics' and 'welding.' Just as well really, since this astronaut is always landing in stupidly dangerous places, for example the Land Of Fuzzy Things, or the Place Of Evil Balloons. Inspiring.

Manic Miner
 By the 80s, miners were being phased out, from both job cuts by the government, to new improved machinery. Mining wasn't deemed an exciting profession by the days youth - so up steps Miner Willy to make it fun again! No longer do you just have to collect rocks - no, it's keys and tennis rackets lodged down the mine shafts. But watch out for the penguins, flamingos and... yellow things. Because this game is rooted solidly in real life, you see.

Bruce Lee
For some reason I found this game utterly irresistible. Playing as Bruce Lee himself, you must run about collecting bells and dodging deathtraps as well as the two guys on the left: Chas and Dave. Now, obviously they're not called Chas and Dave, since I just made those names up for them this second, but I strongly feel in my human heart that could they speak, that would be what they would call themselves. Dave, the fat guy loves to climb ladders and blow himself up; whilst Chas, with his large stick that he carries about like a comfort blanket, assures me that his hobbies are falling and impaling himself on spikes.

On the right is the end villain, one that takes approximately 2 seconds to beat, victory consisting solely of running from left to right across the screen to touch a magic key, all the time avoiding the occasional half-hearted missile. Since the boss itself seems to be a giant semi-naked fat dog-women with her legs spread apart crouching above you, I'd suggest the best course of action would be to run.

What does Bruce win at the end of his epic quest? Why, three boxes of chinese noodles atop a bridge. Obviously.

Ms Pac Man
Ms Pac Man is a strange and pointless game, simply seeming to be exactly the same as Pac Man, but the little figure has hair instead. Hair = female, you see (off to shave myself bald now). The 'Ms' is most likely a part of the feminist movement, or else Ms Pac Man is disguising the fact that she's married and is having a wild, passionate fling with Pac Man. But what does Pac Man see in her?

Aaaah, no comment

 I don't know what this game is about, nor do I care. All I know is that you play an ugly half naked guy who dies very easily - every time anything touches him in fact. Wuss.

He-Man - Masters Of The Universe
There are few things in this lifetime that inspire ballads to be written by ancient warriors, or monuments to be built for all time to reign supreme over the land. This is not one of those things, but it would be nice to think otherwise. It is, however, He-Man, which makes everything better. Truly one of the classics, even the box knew this, being twice the size of all over cassette games, yet still holding only one cassette. Although I never remember He-Man being bright yellow, it's still a great game, for five simple reasons:

1 - You start the game, and immediately a villain comes up behind you before you have the chance to pick up any ammunition and shoots you repeatedly in the back.

2 - He-Man's sword can fire clubs! And is re-energized by him treading in puddles! The days of youth where I too would jump about in 'Power-Puddles' in the vain hope that I could shoot maces from my hands...

3 - In this game, you need to collect six different objects... but with just one misplaced shot, you can blow them up, rendering your epic quest destroyed. But at least by the same system, you can also kill Orko.

4 - Most villains here take one shot to kill forever. Skeletor takes two. Oh, bad-ass indeed.

5 - There's two of Beast-Man. Woohoo


1 comment:

  1. With my pedantic hat on I'd just like to point out that the woman barring Jet Set Willy from his bed is not his wife, but Maria his housemaid.

    These things are important to sad, pedantic bastards like me :-)