Section 1 - General Knowledge

1.2. How many Spectrum Games are there?

This is obviously pure conjecture at the moment, since no definitive list has ever been produced, but should the Sinclair Software Database ever be realised to near completion, this may come close to providing an approximate answer. Still, my own guess is about 12,000, but that is a guess. The trouble is there are so many obscure games and programs that nobody has ever heard of.

1.4. Which Spectrum game character appeared in the most games?

The answer is Dizzy, who has appeared in 15 CodeMasters games in total, and more on other formats. This is the growing list of them on the Spectrum (which is what we're here for):

  1. Dizzy
  2. Treasure Island Dizzy
  3. Fantasy World Dizzy
  4. MagicLand Dizzy
  5. SpellBound Dizzy
  6. Dizzy Prince Of The Yolk Folk
  7. Crystal Kingdom Dizzy
  8. Bubble Dizzy
  9. Dizzy Down The Rapids!
  10. Fast Food
  11. Kwik Snax
  12. Panic Dizzy
  13. Crash Special Edition of the original
  14. Crash Special Edition of Dizzy 2
  15. Dizzy 3.5 (Crash Xmas Special)

1.5. How can I put a snapshot back onto a Spectrum?

Such a cool thing has been available for quite a lot of moons and is named 'HypraLoader'. It was written by Tomaz Kac and can be found here. This tool can upload any common filetype to your Speccy using the SoundBlaster output.

You could also try another tool, TAPER, which can upload tape format files (.TAP, .LTP, .TZX) using either your SoundBlaster or parallel port interface.

1.6. What is the largest compilation ever sold?

Not including Speccy Sensations of course!

The Spectrum Games Compilation of 90 games was released 1988 by the remnants of Argus Press Software/Bug-Byte/Quicksilva. It's made up of various budget games covering 1983-1987, mostly of typical Quicksilva quality. However, there is the odd gem on it, including what is possibly the best 2-player game ever - Xeno (as recommended by Jon Ritman!). I don't think there were any reviews, though the Argus Press '30 Games' compilation from 1986 covers part of it and was reviewed in YS at least. 'SGC' cost 39.95 by mail order (advertised in full-page adverts in SU); The manual is rather dodgy - it even has a disclaimer inside the cover that reads 'Some of these games have been replaced with better ones'!

And what about the second largest? It is of course the legendary Cascade Cassette 50, a terminally awful single tape containing 50 sub-PD-quality programs. They really were dreadful, even in those days!

There are two contenders, however, for the third largest compilation. The name of the first one escapes me, but it was released around 1992, and had about 30 formely full-price games, although many were quite old. The other contender is Ultimate - The Collected Works, which contained nearly all of the Ultimate back-catalogue. It was released by Crash magazine.

1.9. Can you get a virus in a Spectrum Game?

On a real Spectrum, all the operating system is copied from ROM, so there's no danger of a virus. Trojan horses are, I suppose, possible, but if a program said

"Please insert the tape of your favourite game, press record on your tape player and leave for 60 minutes"

I would tend to be rather suspicious, to say the least :-)

Almost all emulators (excusing very serious bugs, of which I don't know of any) don't allow programs executing under emulation access to the resources of the host machine, so there is no danger there. There is one exception to this rule, though: Warajevo 1.5 incorporates a facility for allowing 80x86 code in Spectrum snapshots. In theory, someone could write a PC virus and/or trojan horse in a snap and then distribute that. However, no-one has done this so far (that I know of!).

Basically, there is no risk of a virus/trojan horse infecting/damaging your system from a Spectrum snapshot; the only way such a 'virus' is going to do any damage is by the same method as the "Good Times" e-mail 'virus' ie preying on the ignorance of some users of systems.

1.12. What Spectrum magazines are still available?

There are quite a few available. One is Load "" - The Spectrum Magazine. It's a very new Spectrum diskzine. It's related to everything speccy-wise. It will probably come out every two months, and you can get a copy:-

1.13. How can I find a Snap I am looking for?

This a form that is linked to Hynek Med's excellent Sinclair ZX Spectrum related files search engine. Simply type the truncated name of a game you are looking for and the select "submit".

Filename to search : 

1.15. What is Lenslock and how can I crack it?

Originally designed by Digital Integration, Lenslock was a piece of transparent plastic. A mangled graphic would appear on the screen, and only by looking at it through Lenslock would you be able to see the code that appeared, which you had to type in.

|            |
|            | Blue plastic bit
|            |
|____________| Bend at this point
| >       >  |
| <       <  | Lens bit.
| >       >  |
|_<_______<__| And bend here too
|            |
|            |
|            |
|            |
Imagine this, bend at the lines specified away from you and place on the screen so it stands out like this..

Screen
|
|
|___Lenslok
|   |
|   |   < look this way at the screen.
|___|
|

The silly patterns were refracted by the kinks in the see-through plasticy bit.

As for cracking it, this is one solution:-

  1. Wait for the game to ask you to read "OK"
  2. Snap your game
  3. Using PcTools for example search for OK in your snap and note the adresses (if you're lucky, there should be only one
  4. Reload your snap and advance to the point where the game asks you for the code, and snap it again
  5. Using PcTools, look at the adresses you noted, and there should be the 2-letter code.

1.16. How do I enter a POKE into a snapshot?

It's quite easy really (using Gerton Lunter's Z80 emulator). Load in the snapshot, change to multiface 128 (F9,then M to activate it) with F5, press T (tools), then press space. Then write the address and then the byte. Press Q to leave that menu and R to return to the emulator.

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Written by Stephen Smith.
Stephen Smith (stevo@REMOVE-THIScarlylesmith.karoo.co.uk)