I was one of the last of my mates to get a Spectrum. I'd heard them talking about this thing you could play games on. I was 13, had a paper round which earned me £3.50 a week, so had no chance of getting one myself. I'd played on my cousin's ZX81 but this was, apparently, better! One weekend I got my mum to give me a lift to a part of town I'd never been before so I could see this machine in action. My mate Neil Anderson had one and had invited me over to sample it's delights. I remember being a bit bored waiting for the games to load, he didnt have any posters on his wall to look at while the tape loaded in. He showed me Atic Atac, Chequered Flag, Bruce Lee & Jet Set Willy. I'm sure there were others but these ones stuck out. I remember thinking that the jumping noise in JSW sounded like twinkly water! How did the Spectrum do that? Bruce Lee was ok, though I think Neil finished it there and then. And Atic Atac, well, that looked like an arcade game, but it was in Neil's bedroom! I didn't play on them much, I let Neil show me them. I didn't want to show myself up, I was bound to be rubbish!
Anyway, I must have been bitten by the bug because within a few weeks I'd just got home from school, a few days before my birthday, and my mother motioned towards the gap in-between the sofa and the chair. THERE in a box was a 48k ZX Spectrum!! I must have been mithering for a while to have persuaded my parents to get me one. It cost £175!! Not cheap at all back in 1984! I asked my mum last week if she remembers where she bought it from, she didn't, and when I told her the price she couldn't believe that they could have afforded one. It MUST have been from her trusty catalogue!! Buy now, pay off at a fiver a week! Oh yes. That would have been the only way I could have got my OWN Spectrum. I was gobsmacked anyway and set it up on the downstairs colour TV as quick as I can. I could do without watching Dangermouse and Newsround that night but I knew I wouldn't have long because Dad came home from work soon and he would want the TV. I had to cram some time in getting to know my new toy.
I acquainted myself with the wonders of the Spectrum over the next few months. I bought Crash every month and when I wasn't reading it I was playing games. I had a good circle of mates who had Spectrums and everyone would let everyone else copy each others new purchases, when new releases had been bought. I was lucky because one of my mates must have had at LEAST £50 a week given to him by his step dad and most of that went on either Farah trousers or new Spectrum games. I bought one when I could. It wasn't easy but I now earned a whopping £10 a week working 8 hours at the Co-Op. If I wanted to, I could buy a game a week! Wow!
I was there to see games like Avalon, Tir Na Nog, Knight Lore, Skool Daze, Full Throttle, Sabre Wulf & 3D Starstrike as NEW games. Me and my mates were witnessing the first generation of computer games and things were changing SO fast that a game that was 2 months old already looked out of date. Didn't realise this at the time but we were part of the LAST generation of children to have a time where there were NO computer games! Things would never be the same again.
I discovered my fav' types of games were the ones where you could pretend you'd traveled to another land. So I favoured the aforementioned Tir Na Nog & Avalon games, I loved Dragontorc too. Loved the Ultimate games until I couldn't find one in Nightshade (I did look!) and companies like Software Projects, Quicksilva, Mikro-Gen, Durrell, Micromega, Gargoyle, Ocean, Bug-Byte among many others left their indelible mark on part of my childhood.
I now have the biggest collection of Spectrum originals I've ever seen and 7 of the little buggers in their various guises.
Last edited by mlucifersam
on Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.