Zzap! Editorials 1992
NEW COMMODORE MACHINE?
Commodore rumours continue to proliferate with our sister magazine, AMIGA COMPUTING, printing news of a proposed A300.
This would boast standard Amiga internals, but the keyboard would be radically stripped down making it really a console. There would still be a disk drive, allowing access to current software (so long as not too many keys are needed!), but it's hoped there'll also be plenty of cartridge software. The price is rumoured to be approx £200-£300, allowing the Amiga to compete more effectively with Japanese consoles.
But for C64 fans the big question is whether the A300 is likely to knock out the long-rumoured C65 (claimed to have near-Amiga capabilities, but costing £200 and boasting C64 compatibility). The truth of the matter seems to be that Commodore's design labs have been very busy and at least two machines are in prototype form, but whether they're ever launched depends on the company's evaluation of the marketplace.
Andrew Ball offered this masterful 'no comment' comment; 'With an installed base of so many C64s, and over a million Amigas in the UK - meaning one in fifty people have them - there's an enormous market which we're constantly examining new ways to serve.'
1992 is certainly going to be interesting with Commodore needing some king of answer to the Mega Drive, Atari revving up its own console, various CD-ROM units competing and the C64 hopefully getting updating.
Those of you who still journey to the local newsagent, rather than relying on a super-comfy subscription, will undoubtedly have noticed an exciting new mag called SEGA FORCE.
This amazing new mag dealing with, uh, Nintendo or something like that is being edited by ZZAP!'s famous King-Wynne editorial team. This promotion is no doubt due to their world-famous efficiency, speed and attention to deadlines (ho-ho - Publisher). Or maybe because they know games and are cheap! But to help them cope with two wondrous magazines, and make up for the loss of Robin Hogg (sob!), staff writters have been recruited by the bus load.
The new mega-team may continue to handle both mags, or separate to form two teams. Maybe you'd like to write in and say what you'd like, even vote for which writers you'd like most maybe! Whatever happens you can be sure ZZAP! continues to provide the most accurate, unbiased C64 reviews in the UK!
CLAIRE 'JACQUES COUSTEAU' MORLEY
Employed in a vain attempt to even up the male/female ratio in the Sega Force/ZZAP! office, Claire is our new stuff writer (and she's worth ten men any day!). After surviving just one day at Birmingham Polytechnic (as long as that?!), Claire has achieved her life-long ambition (at just 20 years and 3 weeks) of breaking into the glamorous world of the press (hah, disillusioned fool).
Having lived all around the country she currently commutes from Telford 'the roundabout centre of the universe' in the car borrowed from Mr Bean that everyone calls 'Basil' (the surname isn't Fawlty, I hope).
She used to work at a garage in Ellesmere (where?), and has also done time behind the bar at a local nightclub (she's a party animal).
She likes fast cars, golfers, practicing her Arnie Schwartzenegger impersonation, singing in the bath and drinking Diamond White out of the bottle (she's that 'ard). She dislikes canoeing but is very proud of the fact that she can do an Eskimo Roll (lucky Eskimo, I say). Her hobbies include driving to work, swearing at people in Welsh, painting her nails and scuba diving (Jacques Cousteau, eat yer heart out!). Her favourite games Creatures and Rainbow.
ALAN 'CAPTAIN PICARD' GREEN
Alan is one of the latest additions to the team (the other one is much prettier), and is the brains of the operation (he rents them out to everyone else for extortionate fees). A Bachelor in the Arts, he has come to the magazine fully qualified (many years of experience and research in tea making).
And not only is he in the process of revolutionising the entire magazine, but is certainly shining a beacon of fashion on the office with his designer sportswear (baggy Lee T-shirt and flappy 'MC Hammer' trousers) and a 'bad' haircut (in other words he's as bald as Captain Picard).
He's often to be seen rolling erratically into the office car park in his flash motor (a beaten-up Lada), after wild nights in heady Wolverhampton (his home town). On arrival he's usually dozy and generally useless, having spent all his spare time listening to extremely loud music of bizarre nature (Bucks Fizz, The Brotherhood Of Man, Gilbert O' Sullivan etc). In fact he is now completely deaf (watch out for this one's sound ratings!).
Alan claims to like toast, sleeping, falling out of tall trees, driving very fast and boogeying (his greatest ambition is to appear on 'Dance Energy'). On the other hand he particularly dislikes boring games, his van breaking down, and (like Ian) zoos... he can't get any girlfriends from there! (what about the orangutan we saw you with last week, Al?).
Al's fave C64 game is the classic Who Dares Wins II.
ADRIAN 'EXTRAORDINARY' PITT
Adrian originates from the darkest depths of Wolverhampton. He was born in the early Seventies when hot pants were 'in' and you needed a pair of step ladders to get into your platforms. He's a fashion victim, a Pet Shop Boys fan and wants to live next door to Victoria Wood. He hates wasps, shell suits and Bobby Davro ('nothing personal, Bob!).
His fave Commodore games ever include Wizball, Bubble Bobble and Head Over Heels. He owns a Porsche 911 and can be seen each morning racing from Wolvo to Ludlow dodging little bunny rabbits along the B road. (We lied about the Porsche, by the way, but he's read Watership Down, all in all, about twenty-seven times! - Ed.)
Fave C64 game: Wizball.
IAN 'STAIN' OSBORNE
In his short time at ZZAP! Towers, Ian has already upset several software houses. 'A crap game gets a crap mark', he says, 'and I'm damed if I'm perjuring myself just to please advertising sales...' (Don't let him start that again! - Ed.) Fair enough!)
His hobbies are eating Pot Noodles, arguing with Ade about the Pet Shop Boys, and hiding from US Gold reps. His ambition is to write a computer adventure game, so reviewers can get their own back.
Fave C64 game: Rick Dangerous.
PAUL 'HOMELESS' MELLERICK
Born and bred in Leicester, Paul lived there until three days ago, when he got this job. His main hobby is computers 'because I'm so good at playing games on them.' He also likes music, along the lines of Punk and Heavy Metal which means he has a very lamentable sense of hearing. The rest of the time he spends watching TV (nothing Australian) and sleeping. His main interest, though, is crashing cars - he's written off two: smashed one and reversed with the door open into a lamppost!
Fave C64 game: Great Gianna Sisters.
FAT CHANCE! - ZZAP! GETS A NEW EDITOR!
At last I have the power! Ooooh yes! This is life, putting my feet up, eating countless cheese baps and watching Star Trek. Erm, no way! Look what it did to Stu. Yes, he was rushed into Ludlow hospital's geriatric ward with severe stomach pains. In this vulnerable state he succumbed to Sega games, edited our sister mag Sega Force before defecting (tut tut!) to Sega Pro.
So now I'm in charge of ZZAP!, telling Staff Writers Ian Osborne, Lloyd Mangram and Corky Caswell what to do (and where to go!). Sadly Sega Force swiped the delectable Claire Morley - while ZZAP! got the not-so-delectable Corky! But, as in this ish, you'll probably still see the odd contribution from Claire and the other Sega Forcers.
So how will all this affect ZZAP!? Well, not a lot. I hope to maintain the same high editorial standards as before with accurate, informative reviews, the latest news and previews, all your fave regulars, plus some new features.
One of these is a regular public domain column (starting this ish!) - as requested by many readers. I've got quite a few other fascinating projects (and hankies) up my sleeve for future months - you'll have to wait and see!
AT LAST, IT'S CORKY!
After compiling the ZZAP! tips and arcade round-ups for the last few months, Mark 'Corky' Caswell has finally officially joined the ZZAP! fold and left CRASH - which he's worked on for an incredible four-and-a-half years! If you don't know him well enough by now, here's his profile...
MARK 'DEATHLOCK' CASWELL
Known as Corky to his friends (and sir to anyone under 5' 5" tall), Mark is 27 years old (the OAP of the ZZAP! office) and hails from Slough (an obscure town in the south with possibly the worst footy team around). He is totally bonkers and enjoys bopping around the office to James Brown, picking fights with innocent filing cabinets and drinking enough coffee to float a battleship. He thinks his reviewer's head with the green face (that's what our coffee does to you) and bolt through the neck is far too flattering, and should be changed to reflect his true self (if that happened ZZAP! would be banned from the shelves - Ed.).
His major aim in life is to go on a blind date with CRASH Ed, Lucy Hickman (good God, that'd be more like a blindfolded date! - Ed) or failing that, Marina Sirtis (Counselor Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation). Mainly because they both wear short skirts and have big... erm, eyes.
His hobbies include taking the pee out of people, collecting comics (especially Star Trek, Deathlock, She-Hulk and Deathshead) and listening to most music. Favourites include Kraftwerk, Camouflage, The Doobie Brothers, Gary Numan (with and without Tubeway Army), Bauhaus and Queen. He is also famed (and cursed) around the office for wearing eye-warping shirts. His fave C64 games include Dropzone, Smash TV, Hudson Hawk and Speedball 2.
Get Down Shep...
Howdy my little belly-button fluffs! Lucy-kick-'em-where-it-hurts-until- they-get-their-work-done Hickman here, and I'm your new MANAGING EDITOR (trumpet fanfare please and autographs by appointment only)!
You may have noticed one or two minor changes in your utterly crucial C64 mag (as in a complete overhaul, oil change and turbo boost) but fret not 'cos the only thing I'm interested in (apart from money, infamy and studded leather whips) is battering the minions to make ZZAP more SQUIDGIFEROUS (que? - Phil) than ever!!!
We decided everything was a bit cock-eyed on ZZAP! before (sozzled designers - who needs 'em eh?) so with my SAS rock 'ard training I've squished it all up, shoved it in the melting pot and come up with a shiny new version!
This month, as well as all the bestest news, reviews and previews, we've got the sausagacious Alleykat, the masheringus Black Thunder full games and the absolutely beanaratus RoboCop 3 EXCLUSIVE playable demo. PLUS it's bye bye Lloyd Mangram and hello Miss Whiplash. Dive in and devour the ultimate C64 experience (failing that cut your toe nails standing on your head with a pair of garden shears singing 'Morning Has Broken' backwards)!
See y'all next month.
Oh dear, the new Man. Ed's letting the mob give their honest opinion of her - and exonerated them from any kicks in the head. This has got to be a BIG mistake...
PHIL KING - THICK ED
Cor, that Lucy's [to be typed in at a latter date]
IAN 'OBITUARY' OSBORNE - OFFICE STAIN AND P/T WALLY
Why does Lucy [to be typed in at a latter date]
MARK CASWELL - SMARMY TOAD & STUFF WRITER
Oh lordy, I left CRASH to get away from [to be typed in at a latter date]
MARKIE KENDRICK - ARSE ED
Can I warm your chair [to be typed in at a latter date]
LUCY HICKMAN - GOD
Oh aren't they utterly charming? [to be typed in at a latter date]
It's Party Time...
Wotcha matey peeps! How's the head lice? D'ya ever get the urge to just dye your hair sky-blue-pink, let off a fire extinguisher, stick your tongue out at a herd of German cows and shout BLEURGH at the top of your voice? No? That's funny, neither do I. Of course, Fatty Phil is really a kumquat in disguise anyway so he doesn't give to charity very often... STOP THE FILM IT'S GETTING SILLY! ...Er-hum... right... medication time - did you know I used to be indecisive but now I'm not so sure.
Okay, joke time:
Q: What d'ya get if you cross an enormous pear tree with a Blue Tit?
A: An enormous pair of... blue trees!*?!
Right, enough frivolity, on with the ish. This month we've got the swizzy Uridium and wacky stone-age frolics with Yabba Dabba Doo full games on the Megatape as well as mind-blowing horrors with a Space Gun exclusive demo - check out the liver-licking Tape Worm for details. We've got a new ZZAPateer (see Stuff), an exclusive Brides of Dracula preview and heaps of ultra-brill reviews, news etc. Go For It...
Practical jokes are a great laff aren't they peeps? Pranks like pretending to be Rottweiler and biting the postman and plastering superglue on the toilet seat are regular occurrences here at ZZAP! Towers. Since it's April we decided to give you some hot tips for April Fool's day...
LUCY - MAN ED
I love a good wheeze [to be typed in at a latter date]
PHIL KING - THICK 'ED
I've never needed [to be typed in at a latter date]
MARK CASWELL - FALL GUY
Why is it I'm always [to be typed in at a latter date]
IAN OSBORNE - SLAP 'ED
The funniest April Fool [to be typed in at a latter date]
CARL ROWLEY - BRAINED 'ED
Being a bit of a [to be typed in at a latter date]
MARK KENDRICK - ART ED
April Fool jokes are [to be typed in at a latter date]
[follows text about new reviewer from 'Stuff!' section]
A tall story
Here's a quick word from CARL 'MAN MOUNTAIN' ROWLEY, the new ZZAPateer...
Chuff me chums, is this one cushy job or what? Sitting around all day drinking warm mud and phlegm ... oh ... I've just been informed it is, in fact, what passes for coffee hereabouts.
Anyway here I am with a nice comfy chair listening to some wicked Techno-Rock by those Canadian demi-gods, Rush, while all the other dudes in the office are running around doing wok and stuff. None of that malarkey for me matey! All a bit wacky these guys and they've definitely got it in for me, I mean is it my fault that I'm tall, blonde, blue-eyed, mature, zit-free chap, cast in the classic heroic mould. All you need to know is my judgment is infallible and I've an intellect the size of a small celestial body (get yourself some antibiotics, it'll soon clear that up - Man Ed).
...Signed photographs available on request.
All Change! (again...)
'Oh no! Not another new Editor?' I hear you cry. Yup, it's MY turn now, and have I got news for YOU! I'll be ringing the changes in a big way once I've found my feet (funny, I'm sure they were on the ends of my legs this morning). For starters I'm planning a super ten-page Amiga section every issue, then I'll start a monthly video column detailing all the latest releases (plus a cinema guide to balance things out). Record reviews will be receiving a fair amount of coverage too, along with a regular round-up of the latest comic books. console releases and...
Right then. For all of those foolhardy folk who're still reading, RELAX! I've been a Zzap! reader since issue God-knows-what so I think I can safely say that I know what works in a C64 mag... and what doesn't. In my book - and in many ways this is will have to change ('The Stains' underwear, for one thing!), but I'll rely on you lot to tell me what, when and by how much. I've already scrutinised the results of the reader-survey from issue 82 and picked up a few good ideas (along with a nasty little itch, which I can't quite figure out), but keep sending your comments and suggestions in anyway because, even if they're not always welcome, they at least come in handy for insulating the loft here at Zzap! Towers! 'Till next month, then, Go With The Flow,
Steve Shields (Editor)
PS. For the full stomach-turning story of how I came into being see the 'Stuff' column on the next page...
In the merry month of May a young persons fancy, so the saying goes, turns to thoughts of... well, 'procreation'. The scientific explanation for this phenomena states that the action of sunlight falling on top of the head stimulates glands beneath the skin which react by pumping out oodles of vitamin 'D'. Once in the brain the abnormal quantities of vitamin 'D' trigger off a complex set of signals which basically all scream the same thing: Phworr, (s)he's a bit of alright, wot d'yer reckon the chances are? But what if you're a habitual hat-wearer, or it's just plain peeing down in your corner of the world? Worry not, for here are a few aphrodisiacal suggestions from the Zzap! crew...
LUCY HICKMAN - MAN-MAD ED
Aphrodisiacs!?! You cannot be [to be typed in at a latter date]
STEVE SHIELDS - BIG ED
Never had much use for [to be typed in at a latter date]
PHIL KING - SUB-HUMAN ED
There's nothing like a romantic [to be typed in at a latter date]
MARK CASWELL - SLAP ED
Afro wot? Is it some kind of [to be typed in at a latter date]
IAN OSBORNE - KNOB ED
As I come from Birmingham [to be typed in at a latter date]
MARK KENDRICK - ARTY-PARTY ED
Having invented the concept [to be typed in at a latter date]
[follows text about how the new editor came to be from 'Stuff!' section]
FATTY FIL FIRED!
Well almost: the footy-mad fatso has been relegated to Deputy Ed. Yes, after only three months the rotund reviewer has already blown his chance as Editor by spending the annual ZZAP! budget down the chip shop. It all happened one stormy Friday night...
[follows much text which will be typed in at a latter date]
Over 'ere son, on the 'ead!
My old man said be a Swansea fan but I said bog-off, cobblers you're a fart! Yep, the soccer season is well underway here at ZZAP! Towers (Brian), with dozens of dodgy football chants rebounding off the woodwork, and more than a few fouls being awarded near the drinks machine - 'Oi, did you spill my coffee? Well stitch that, pal!' And if the language has become a little colourful, well, it's only a reflection on the state of the mag. Go on, have a flick through. Full colour on every page! Dazzling, huh?
What with the excellent Emlyn Hughes International Soccer on the Megatape, and a ripping round-up of every footy game released for the C64 (not to mention a clutch of spiffing soccer videos to give away), we think we can be excused the odd cry of 'Gooooaaaaal' though. Yes, you've certainly scored a winner this month, folks, I hope you're over the moon about it!
The issue's not totally devoted to scorching soccer action however (huge sighs of relief from the two-left-feet brigade), as there are more than enough non-sporty releases coming out to keep any forty-fags-a-day fan happy. From arcade games to text adventures and back again - via a handful of sims and the odd platform caper - we've got the lot between these hallowed covers. So, that's enough from me (thank God! - the rest of The Team), I'll leave you to enjoy the rest of the issue. Now for just one more go at beating Phil at that bloomin' Microprose Soccer...
Steve Shields (Editor)
Football. Love it or hate it, everyone seems to have a favourite team. Whether it's one of the top clubs like Liverpool or Leeds or a lesser side like Accrington Stanley or Man United, there's nothing like cheering on your team and screaming blue murder at the 'blind' ref. So, who do the ZZAP! crew support? (Apart from each other after lunchtime editorial meetings in the Frog & Ferret...)
LUCY HICKMAN - MANGLING EDITOR
Football? FOOTBALL??? You cannot [to be typed in at a latter date]
STEVE SHIELDS - ON THE ED
Sung to the tune of Que Sera Sera [to be typed in at a latter date]
PHIL KING - DEPUTY 'DAWG' ED
Being born and bred in Ludlow, [to be typed in at a latter date]
MARK CASWELL - OFF HIS ED
Nowadays I can't bear anything [to be typed in at a latter date]
IAN OSBORNE - SPOT THE BALLS
For my money, the worst team [to be typed in at a latter date]
MARK KENDRICK - ED CASE
What's football? Oh, yeah [to be typed in at a latter date]
ANY MORE FOR SIXTY-FOUR?
There has been much muttering and mumbling in the 8-bit world concerning the future (or lack of it?) of the C64. The old Speccy has seen its fortunes tumble dramatically over the past two years, while the Amstrad has suffered a similar fate. So what's in store for the sixty four?
Well the good news is that there's still plenty of life in the old dog yet. Okay, so the inflated profit margins afforded to 16-bit product - both disk and cartridge-based - are too great to be ignored for long, and the majority of software developers have, predictably, begun concentrating their efforts in this still-growing sector of the market. But is this such bad news? Whereas it was 'old' 8-bit product that was frantically being up-graded to run on the bigger, faster (more expensive!) machines, now we're seeing a plethora of original titles cropping up for everything from the Super NES to the Amiga. Not all of these can be re-prog'd to run on the C64, of course, but a good many can and will be converted over the coming months (see Robocod: James Pond II in this month's Previews section, and the Chuck Rock review if you don't believe me!).
Maintaining its position as the best-selling games machine in Britain, the Commodore 64 has a large and royal following (as if you need telling!). The limitations of the machine are still being tested to the full and (some!) new ideas for games continue to filter through (Codies Steg, for example). ZZAP! will, naturally, cast a careful eye on the state of play and keep you informed of any new developments (like, where IS that C65!?). Meanwhile, though, on with the show!
Steve Shields (Editor)
Wrestling continues to grow in popularity and so this month, to jump on the bandwagon, we're bringing you a definitive wrestling round-up of C64 games - with all the boxing sims thrown in for good measure. To be honest, though, we're a whit weary of Hulk Hogan, Frank Bruno et al. So, who would the ZZAP! crew like to see knocking eleven different colours of crap out of each other?
LUCY 'DING DONG' HICKMAN - Slapp(ed)
For pure pleasure, I'd like to see [to be typed in at a latter date]
STEVE 'TAKE IT ON THE CHIN' SHIELDS - Zapp(ed)
Now here's a tricky one. Since [to be typed in at a latter date]
PHIL 'SUMO' KING - Deck(ed)
I think the Terminator versus [to be typed in at a latter date]
IAN 'DOWN AND OUT' OSBORNE - Dead(ed)
The only 'ring' I'd like to see [to be typed in at a latter date]
MARK 'HEAVY WEIGHT' CASWELL - Tipp(ed)
Who would I like to see [to be typed in at a latter date]
MARK 'REAR GUARD' KENDRICK - Fart(ed)
I reckon that in the ring [to be typed in at a latter date]
Me? A gossip merchant? Nah! Although I have heard the odd rumour floating around this month - and this rumour is very odd indeed!
Okay, batten down the hatches cuz here it comes... the stupendously ginormous Nintendo company have, it is alleged, begun proceedings which could result in an aggressive takeover of Commodore. Surprised? I was! And when you consider the fact that both the New York Times AND our very own Financial Times have deemed the rumours worthy of column inches, there could well be a good deal of truth behind it (there's no smoke without a fire, is there? Unless it's all some kind of stupid prank, of course).
So what, if anything, would this mean to the likes of you and I, the loyal C64 fans of Britain? Well, after much uhm-ing and ah-ing I pulled the chain and came to the conclusion that, on balance, it could only be GOOD news. Naturally, there are cons as well as pros involved - there's the remote possibility that our Japanese friends might decide to discontinue the 64 in order to boost sales of their own 8-bit machine, for example.
Realistically, though, if Nintendo were to dump the C64 they'd be cutting their noses off to spite their faces (if you know what I mean).
A more pleasing scenario would see Nintendo converting the games already the games already available for their NES machine to run on the 64. But although this would be a doddle to do - both machines share a lot of the same gubbins - this, too, is unlikely. Somehow I just can't see Super Mario Bros achieving a ZZAP! review in the near, or even the distant, future...
On the other hand, the lads and lasses from the land of the rising yen might finally get the C65 fully developed. They could even bring out hundreds of C64 cartridges featuring games from their back catalogue. Who knows? Whatever the outcome of the rumoured takeover, though, you can be sure of one thing: We'll be here to keep you informed and updated on any developments and repercussions.
Steve Shields (Editor)
Hup one! Hup two! Hup three! This US Sports issue is getting to me! Quarterbacks, pucks and basket balls, checkered trousers and Texan drawls. 'Howdy, partner, like some fries?' - 'Beat it, Mac, I'm sick of you guys!' Yeah, they're an odd bunch our American pals, crazy red-necks and homely gals. So what of the ZZAP! crew, are they fond, of our curious cousins across the pond...?
STEVE SHIELDS - Street Cr(ed)
Oh say can you see, by the [to be typed in at a latter date]
PHIL KING - Dement(ed)
Yanks, they're great, ain't they [to be typed in at a latter date]
MARK CASWELL - Reject(ed)
I love the Americans for ten reasons: [to be typed in at a latter date]
IAN OSBORNE - Hat(ed)
Americans are barmy [to be typed in at a latter date]
MARK KENDRICK - Fart(ed)
Actually, I've just got back [to be typed in at a latter date]
BIGGER, BETTER, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH...
How much? Okay, okay, .so we've taken the plunge and increased the cover price. Again. But the very fact that you're reading this proves that you, at least, have decided that £2.95 isn't beyond the bounds of reason.
So what are you getting for your (extra) money? And what are the poor fools who have passed us by this month missing out on? Well, first off (and to state the obvious), you're getting an extra megatape. But this isn't planned as an one-off. Readers of this hallowed tome can expect double megatape fun EVERY MONTH! We're gonna cram those muthas with every decent game, demo, adventure and whatever we can lay out hands on... so don't touch that dial!
A less obvious advantage, but equally important in the grand design,. is the fact that each and every tape will now be duplicated by a company called Ablex. Experts in their magnetic field, Ablex are responsible for producing C64 games for big software houses such as Ocean, US Gold, Gremlin, CodeMasters, Kixx, Core Design and yes, you guessed it, many many more! No more irate readers ringing up bemoaning the fact that their cover-cassettes 'just will not bloody load'. Oh happy days are here... at last!
And, as if you haven't noticed, we're also BIGGER. A whole two centimeters per page bigger, to be exact. Flashy? Sure! But if it allows us to include larger, more detailed screen-shot maps, then we reckon it's worth it. Besides, if you keep a careful eye on the competition you'll discover that our £2.95 is but a small price to pay (dig, dig!).
So, until next month, Happy Zappin'.
Steve Shields (Editor)
Virtual Reality is big business these days, but if you could create your own world, who or what would be in it? Would you go for a futuristic scene? A medieval castle? A Conan The Barbarian, sword-and-sorcery adventure? Or maybe a prehistoric landscape? And who would be there with with you? A huge alien? A knight in shining armour with a big sword? Or a six-foot Amazonian blonde with big... (Yes, we get the idea - Ed). We asked the ZZAP! team for their ideal Virtual Reality, and regretted it almost immediately.
STEVE SHIELDS - Dement(ed)
A whole world, invented [to be typed in at a latter date]
PHIL KING - Over F(ed)
I'd like a VR world where you could [to be typed in at a latter date]
MARK CASWELL - In-Br(ed)
I love science-fiction movies, so I guess [to be typed in at a latter date]
IAN OSBORNE - Stain(ed)
Phil, if you really think personal VR [to be typed in at a latter date]
MARK KENDRICK - Garden Sh(ed)
I reckon that we're all living in a virtual [to be typed in at a latter date]
THE SHOW MUST GO ON
As I psyche myself up for the manic mayhem of yet another trade show (the Autumn ECTS in Islington), I can't help wondering what it'll have in store for the old 64.
Not one of the distributors during the Spring sojourn exhibited any C64 games on their stands whatsoever. Okay, so a few of the budget companies - like Zeppelin - had a handful of cassette sleeves on display, but as far as demonstrating new software went, well, if it wasn't 16-bit-based it had no chance...
The story from the PR end was a little more encouraging - when you could drag them away from the consoles for long enough to exchange a few words. Few of the software distributors stated outright that they were not considering publishing any more C64 stuff, and many were eager to impress upon me the fact that they were still very much behind the machine and would continue to support it as long as there is sufficient demand.
Our sales figures alone prove that the demand is still there all right, but to my mind it's very much a chicken-and-egg type thing: A few of the bigger development houses (like Ocean) drop out of the race by not producing any more 8-bit games, and the retailers start to panic. So the shop owners order fewer C64 games, devote significantly less shelf space to the stuff that they do stock, and software sales begin to reflect the changes. The result? An inaccurate picture of the market which is bad for us, for you AND for them.
Oh well, I'll toddle along to spread the gospel according to ZZAP! 64 at the show, and hopefully with xmas approaching I'll have more promising news on my return (the lure of seasonal mega-bucks can work wonders!). Check out next issue's Stuff column for a mini show report.
Steve Shields (Editor)
We couldn't decide on a ZZAP! ZOO topic for this month. So after a bit of head scratching Ian suggested 'things that drive us up the wall'. The ZZAP! crew are an amiable bunch (most of the time), but like everyone else they occasionally have to let off steam. What grinds their gears? Is it Steve listening to Radio 2? Phil's monosyllabic answers to complex questions? Ian's taste in shorts? Or Corky's taste in women? Read on and find out...
STEVE SHIELDS - Fully Ferment(ed)
What do I hate? Being a cynical old git [to be typed in at a latter date]
PHIL KING - Fully Stuff(ed)
I don't hate much at all - life's too short [to be typed in at a latter date]
MARK CASWELL - Fully Fitt(ed)
Hmm, if I listed all the things that [to be typed in at a latter date]
IAN OSBORNE - Fully Accept(ed), NOT!
Couldn't agree more Phil - bullshine [to be typed in at a latter date]
MARK KENDRICK - Fully Furnish(ed)
Things that I hate in life would make [to be typed in at a latter date]
Welcome one and all to the last ever issue of ZZAP! 64 magazine. Yes, it's true, you're holding the final chapter in a long-running saga that begun way back in 1985.
Of course, it's come a long way since then - full colour on every page, two Megatapes each month. In fact, if it weren't for the big blue logo and Oli Frey pic on the cover, there'd be little to indicate to an early reader that this was indeed the same mag!
So what are you going to do, now that your favourite C64 action mag has bitten the dust? Well, hopefully, you'll buy COMMODORE FORCE instead! COMMODORE WHAT?, you ask. Never heard of it! That's because we haven't published it yet...
Yes, it's time to ring the changes. Out with the old, in with the new, and all that. The last ZZAP! readers survey has (finally) been collated, and the results speak for themselves: you really like the new improvements but are hungry for more. Okay, you got 'em! But it was felt that if we were to incorporate everything you wanted, why not go the whole hig and re-launch the mag? And that meant a name change...
So why COMMODORE FORCE? Well, to start with, it'll bring us in line with our three sister magazines; N-FORCE, SEGA FORCE and AMIGA FORCE. Furthermore, we felt that the very name ZZAP! belonged to times gone by, and no longer imparted the right kind of message to potential readers. Finally, we've wrought just so many major alterations to the basic ZZAP! structure that we felt gamesplayers who had become tired of the old formula ought to get the chance to see for themselves just what improvements have been made. With the old logo on the cover, though, we figured that many people would only expect to find the old-style pages within.
So there you have it. Naturally, no everyone is going to be as enthusiastic about the re-launch as we are (those who've been rubbing their hands together in anticipation of Issue 100, for example). To soften the blow, then, we're giving away a special 100-page C64 Tips Book with the first issue, as well as the two tapes (which'll feature the excellent Continental Circus AND Gemini Wing among others!), and all for the regular price of just £2.95! You'd have to be a complete and utter gimboid to miss it...
Steve Shields (Editor)
We are the four horsemen, er, SIX horsemen of the Apocalypse, and we bring you... the final issue of ZZAP! 64. We're already gearing-up to launch a brand-new(ish) C64 action magazine onto the market - COMMODORE FORCE - but in the meantime we're going to bow out gracefully by bringing you the ZZAP!er's guide to reincarnation. What would you be...?
STEVE SHIELDS - Grim Reaper
Frankly, if I died and had to come back [to be typed in at a latter date]
PHIL KING - War
Reincarnation works! Yes, I can now reveal [to be typed in at a latter date]
IAN OSBORNE - Famine
Decisions, decisions... I could come back [to be typed in at a latter date]
MARK CASWELL - Pestilence
If ol' Desmond D knocked on my door [to be typed in at a latter date]
JAMES PRICE - Plague
Living is very important to me as I've been [to be typed in at a latter date]
MARK KENDRICK - Himself!
I never intend to die but to carry on and [to be typed in at a latter date]
[follows text about new reviewer from 'Stuff!' section]
WHO THE HECK'S THAT LONG-HAIRED GEEZER?
No doubt you're wondering who our new reviewer is. Well, we can now officially welcome to the team the one and (hopefully) only, James Price! A sort of cross between Kurt Cobain and Fraggle, James has already made a name for himself in the office for dancing around and waving his arms wildly while he talks, not forgetting the regular swishing back of that blond mop.
We asked James what he thought about his new job: 'Erm... like... you know... this gorgeous girlie was buying me drinks all night... like... you know how it gets... right!... yeah... well...'
Welcome to the team, James!