Written and Compiled by Stephen Smith.

, but with help from all the posters to comp.sys.sinclair.

If you are new to the world of the Spectrum, then you will need to know How to become an instant Spectrum user. If you feel that you are already a True Spectrum User then prove it!


I decided to start this faq when I realised that there was no other faq that directly covered what I consider to be the most important part of the Spectrum; the games. Even the excellent Spectrum FAQ is concerned more with the hardware than software, but no computer proved more that playability was everything in a game and graphics were just something to be glossed over. So I have now compiled all the facts regarding questions about Spectrum games all into one document. And you are reading it now.

To be honest, it is more full of facts than faq's. It is like a list of trivia regarding Spectrum games rather than the most frequently asked questions, but who cares. Copy as much of it as you want and pass it on to your friends and relatives, but if you should make any money from it, I must ask for 50% of the profits. Thanks. And keep my name on it, in big letters and flashing lights. And write an entry for the Spectrum Games Database - we need as much help as possible!

Correcting the FAQ

If you think any of the answers here a wrong, or you can give a more complete reply, please tell me! No fact is too obscure, no trivia too trivial. And if you have any questions, ask me and I will try to find out the answers. The questions and answers have been copied from posts to comp.sys.sinclair and those that have emailed me, so thanks to those people who may recognise some of their postings and letters.

In addition, since this is now an .html version of the original ASCII document, it now contains links in many of the paragraphs. If you know of a link that I could add, or have spotted a link that is wrong, then I am relying on you to inform me so that I can change it!

New Bits

All new answers since the last edition of the faq have been marked with a "*" so that you can go straight to them without having to wade through old stuff if you're in a hurry, although I do go through a lot of the existing writing and change the odd word here or there to improve the English.

I am also removing bits! (Shock Horror). Yes, anything specific to one particular game is going to be taken out and placed in the Spectrum Game Database entry for that game. Examples are the Chaos cheats and Manic Miner answers. This is to un-clutter the faq (which is too big to load into any of my Web editors, so I am having to do it all manually) and leave more room for genuine faqs. So if you have any questions on a particular game, the best place to look is in the Spectrum Games Database.

The Scope of This FAQ

This faq is only concerned with facts regarding Spectrum games, and anything directly associated with them. It also contains questions that still need answering. Should an opinion slip through, just ignore it; it's probably only there in jest. And absolutely no hardware talk please - it's dull as dishwater =).

Also for the moment I am going to refrain from doing a "Where are they now?" section on Spectrum programmers (except for the elusive God Matthew Smith of course) since such a thing exists in the Spectrum FAQ (although it is a bit out of date now I think). However, if you think I should have one, let me know and if I get enough votes and info I might do it.

Thanks To

Thanks must go to everyone who has contribute to this faq so far, and especially to Sir Clive Sinclair, for inventing the Spectrum and many other works of genius (except for the C5). Without their help this faq would not be what it is. They are as follows (in no particular order of priority):
Steve Gillot, Paolo "Nusco" Perrotta, Conor McMenamin, Steven Fairbarn, Kevin Reilly, Markos Masouras, Hobster, Seamus Waldron, Ian Collier, Owen Massey, Pete Collier, Steve Lake, Richard G. Hallas, Boudewijn Rempt, Matthew Pimm, W.J. Irwin, Matt Barber, Robert Mellish, Russ Juckes, W. Nelson, Kevin Parker, Robert Hazelby, Eric March, Chris Wild, and George Hills.

Thanks to you all.

Abbreviations used in this FAQ

The following abbreviations are using in this faq to confuse and infuriate:
FAQ        - Frequently Asked Questions
YS         - Your Sinclair
SU         - Sinclair User
MM         - Manic Miner
JSW        - Jet Set Willy
AOTMZFECFM - Attack of the Mutant Zombie Flesh-Eating Chickens
             from Mars.
UDG        - User defined graphic(s)
DI         - Digital Integration
NES        - Nintendo Entertainment (apparently) System
ASAP       - As soon as possible
SCi        - Sales Curve International
MS         - Matthew Smith
PITA       - Pain in the Arse
There may be some more that have slipped through. Just have a good guess.


Section 1 - General Knowledge
1.1. What are the ftp locations for maps of Spectrum games?
1.2. How many Spectrum games are there?
1.3. Where can I get instructions for the snapshots?
1.4. Which Spectrum game character appeared in the most games?
1.5. Where can I get snapshots from?
1.6. What is the largest compilation ever sold?
1.7. How do I send games in Email?
*1.8. How did they get their name?
*1.9. What BBS's can I get Spectrum games from?

Section 2 - The Legends of Matthew Smith
2.1. Whatever happened to AOTMZFECFM?
2.2. Where is Matthew Smith now?
2.3. Why are there enemy Toilets in MM and JSW?
2.4. What other games has Matthew Smith written?

Section 3 - The First of their Kind
3.1. What was the first Spectrum coin-op conversion?
3.2. What games were the first of their kind?
3.3. What was the first game to have speech?
3.4. What was the first game with an on-screen counter while loading?
3.5. What was the first game with in-game music?
3.6. Which game featured the first piracy protection?

Section 4 - The Future
4.1. What Spectrum game characters have appeared on newer games?
4.2. What Spectrum games have been re-written on newer formats?
4.3. Which Software Houses is the oldest and still producing games?

Section 5 - Miscellaneous
5.1. Where can I play Spectrum games as PBEM's?
5.2. Where do I send information to for the Spectrum Games Database?
5.3. How do I obtain entries from the Spectrum Games Database?
5.4. Which games have never actually been released?
5.5. Working Titles.
5.6. What hidden games are there?
5.7. Which games are legally distributable?

Section 6 - Ultimate Play the Game
6.1. Is there a trailer in Lunar Jetman?
6.2. Was there a third Jetman game?
6.3. The Ultimate Company names.
6.4. The Ultimate games linked.

So, on with the first question!

Section 1 - General Knowledge

1.1. What are the ftp locations of the maps for Spectrum games?

Try, that has quite a few.

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 Spectrum Games Database ever be realised to near completion, this may come close to providing an approximate answer. The Spectrum Games Database page contains a growing list of Spectrum games, now over 1,000, so there are still plenty more to go. 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.

1.3. Where can I get instructions for the snapshots?

If you need help on a Spectrum game (which often aren't as simple as they first seem) try the Spectrum Game Database ( which will contain all you could ever need to know about the games - as soon as the entry is written of course. If you want an entry from the Database you can download them from

You might also like to try

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. Where can I get snapshots of games from?

You might like to try the following ftp sites:

  10. ftp://virgo/
If you know of any more, or if any of the above have changed, then please tell me.

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 =A39.95 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! Does anyone know if any of the 50 programs can be downloaded from anywhere? For some reason, I want to play them...

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.

1.7. How do I send games in Email?

Quite often you will want to send other people snapshots of excellent Spectrum games that you have. This is very simple.

First you must uu-encode the program. Quite often a newsreader/mailer has this feature built into it, or you may need a seperate program. When you uu-encode a program, it turns it into an ASCII equivalent of the code. Simply paste this into your email, and post away. To receive the email, simply uu-decode the email that you have received.

Please bear in mind though, when someone posts to the newsgroup asking for a particular game, that several people will also read the same message. If you have a copy of the software they are asking for, you are recommended to just post this fact to them, asking them to email you back if they want it. This stops someone receiving several copies of one program.

One thing I would recommend not doing is sending the games anything other than uu-encoded. Utilities like Base64 and BinHex are quite rare and very few people use them.

1.8. How did they get their name?

1.9. What BBS's can I get Spectrum games from?

One BBS that I know about is Frazzle Project BBS, on (01562) 827019 (or +44 1562 827019 for international callers). If there are any more then please tell me.

Section 2 - The Legends of Matthew Smith

2.1. Whatever happened to Attack of the Mutant Zombie Flesh Eating Chickens from Mars?

Last word was that Software Projects had asked him to revamp the game when they thought the version he did was not good enough. This was about 9 years ago, and nothing has been known since. If anybody has news about this or the next question, you must let us know ASAP!

2.2. Where is Matthew Smith Now?

It has been, and still is, one of the main aims in life of many of the posters to comp.sys.sinclair, to locate the whereabouts of Matthew Smith, if only to obtain a copy of AOTMZFECFM. I think the last post we heard regarding this was that he is now working in a Computer Store beginning with "M", somewhere in England. We identified the store, but no news of anybody actually going in as yet.

One note though. The general feeling, gained from the previous times that people have attempted to look for him, is that he does not want to be found. Why this is I do not know.

2.3. Why are there enemy toilets (and other strange things) in Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy?

Matthew decided he was bored with the usual green aliens, and he wanted to have different enemies in his games. The idea for toilets came from his brother, who was three at the time and wanted rampant toilets in the game.

This answer is from an interview with Software Projects from Sinclair User 1984. It is available by ftp, but it's location is unknown.

2.4. What other games has Matthew Smith written?

As well as Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy, Matthew has also written Styx (Bug-Byte). This was before the those two games, and the general opinion is that it is not quite as good as those two. Still, we can forgive him for that.

Section 3 - The First of their Kind

3.1. What was the first Spectrum coin-op conversion?

As far as I know, the first licence was Hunchback (Ocean), although that is debatable (and probably will be). But does anybody know what the first "copy" rather than licence was? Not Spectral Invaders (Bug-Byte) as far as I know. Could it be that Thro' the Wall was the first? It could be said that it was the first copy (of Arkanoid?) since it appeared on the Horizons tape.

3.2. What games were the first of their kind?

These games were (until someone comes to me with a different answer) the first of their kind on the Spectrum. Note that they may be wrong, and it is up to you to correct me!

3.3. What was the first game to have speech?

Whether you actually understood it or not is irrelevant, since that would disqualify most games.

Take your pick from the following games. Anybody that has it on good authority that one was released before the others then please tell me!

3.4. What was the first game with an on-screen counter while loading?

Technician Ted (Hewson) had a counter that went around on the screen while the game loaded. I think this was the first. The first game to play a game while loading a game was Joe Blade 2 (Players), which had a simple pac-man type game.

3.5. What was the first game with in-game music?

I think it was Manic Miner (Bug-Byte), but I could be wrong. It played a movement from the play Peer Gynt called "In the Hall of the Mountain King" by Edvard Grieg.

3.6. Which game featured the first piracy protection?

As far as I know, it was Night Gunner (Digital Integration) , which required you to enter a numerical code at the start before you could play it. This was reviewed in Crash issue 3, while JSW (the game previously thought to have had the first piracy protection) was reviewed in issue 4.

Section 4 - The Future

4.1. What Spectrum game characters have appeared on newer games?

In the arcade coin-op beat'em up Killer Instinct (Rare) there is a character called "Baron Von Sabre Wulf". However, he bears little resemblance to Sabre Man as seen in Knightlore and the rest, although he does changed from werewolf to man though.

Monty Mole has also appeared on the Amiga in Impossamole (Gremlin), although there was also a Spectrum version of this game.

4.2. What Spectrum games have been re-written on newer formats?

Jetpac (Ultimate) on the PC. It is a PD games, by Stuart Fothergill? There is also a PD version on the ST.

Jet Set Willy and Manic Miner (Software Projects) both came out on the Amiga (and possibly the ST) and also the Acorn range of RISC computers. The Amiga version of Manic Miner had a 90`s version, as well as a perfect copy of the Spectrum version. The Amiga version of Jet Set Willy increased the size of the sprites and the screen now scrolls instead of being a flick-screen game. Not as good as the original. There is also a game called JetSet, which is a version of JSW for Unix machines.

Chuckie egg (A'n'F Software) was also brought out on the ST and Amiga. Not as good as the original.

I believe there is also versions of Lords Of Midnight and Doomdark's Revenge (Beyond) written by Chris Wild, who is in the comp.sys.sinclair newsgroup. Hello! He now works for SCi and is going to check out the Jetman 3 reference for us (eventually).

There is a proper version of Doomdark's Revenge (Beyond) coming out on the PC (by Mike Singleton). Although it is the same type of game, it does look completely different (which is only to be expected). Probably not as good as the original.

Tir Na Nog (Gargoyle) is being completely re-written onto the PC.

Another PD game is Pssst! which was written for the Amiga, and is a straight copy of the Ultimate game. It was on the cover of "The One" in late 1994. However, this version does not play a tune when the flower blooms, so it's not as good as the original (being an incredibly important part of the game).

Chaos - Battle of the Wizards (Games Workshop) has been re-done as Morkin2, which has appeared on the PC, with a few minor changes. Another game called Morkin1 has also appeared on the ST. There has also been a straight copy of Chaos onto the ST. Chaos ST uses lots of digital samples taken from Red Dwarf, Black Adder, Highlander, Monty Python and stuff. (i.e. when a Wizard dies, it plays a sample from Highlander of the Kurgan saying "There can be only one!" or when a wizard get hit he'll say "Right, I'll do you for that!" or some such (from Monty Python and the Holy Grail). When you select your wizard, you can't select your colour; each of the 8 wizards already have their own colour. Other than that it's utterly identical, right down to the text font. And damn, it's still tons o' fun!

Wheelie (Micromega) has also been written as a PD game for the Amiga.

4.3. Which software house is the oldest and still producing games?

Digital Integration is still making software (now for the PC), and they started back in 1983, advertising in the small ads of Sinclair User. Ocean also go back a long way, as do Psion and Hewson, who are all still around. Which one was first?

Section 5 - Miscellaneous

5.1. Where can I play Spectrum games as PBEM's?

You can't as far as I know. The Chaos and Rebelstar PBEM's have finished. Sorry.

5.2. Where do I send information to for the Spectrum Games Database?

Please send the information to me at k. See my web page at for more information. If you want to write up a particular game, email me and I'll tell you if it hasn't been done yet. I need as much help as possible!

5.3. How do I obtain entries from the Spectrum Games Database?

If you would like an entry for a game, then just email me at and tell me which one you want (or email me and ask me which ones are available). Each one should (or will eventually) contain everything about each game, including full instructions, the original inlay card text and magazine reviews, and any cheats/pokes.

You can also obtain them via ftp, from, or select them from

5.4. Which games have never actually been released?

Mire Mare (Ultimate) - It was mentioned at the end of Knightlore, Pentagram and Underwurlde. There were three exits from the Underwurlde. Depending on which one you took, the final screen was different. One of the screens announced Pentagram, another one Mire Mare, and the third one Knightlore.

The June 1987 issue of SU reports that Mire Mare was still an ongoing project at the time. It was to be the next Ultimate game after Martianoids and Bubbler. Ultimate also reported that the game was to be followed by something they described as "Jetpac brought up to date". Maybe that last project was later canceled as Mire Mare was, or maybe it was taken over by the original Ultimate team to become the Jetman game on the NES.

Cyborg (CRL) - Was previewed in magazines around 1987 but never came to light.

Attack Of The Mutant Zombie Flesh Eating Chickens From Mars (starring Zippo the Dog) of course (Software Projects). A version was produced but Software Projects didn't like it. It was advertised in Crash. Matthew Smith was also going to write another game starring Miner Willy, called Willy Meets the Taxman (or something similar) but I am uncertain if this was a previous name for AOTMZFECFM or was another abandoned game.

Solar Jetman (Rare). Came out on the NES only. See the Ultimate section for the full story.

Flashpoint (Ocean) was actually written but never released. It ended up on the cover of an issue of SU and also YS. I can see why they never released it. <- Opinion. Please ignore.

Streethawk (Ocean) is a story all in itself. It was in fact released (very briefly) as part of a contract that Ocean had with a home shopping catalogue, Kays or something, but it was abysmal, and quickly changed for something else, although what, I don't know. The real StreetHawk was also properly released, although by then it was so late, nobody could remember who StreetHawk was, and it also didn't do very well...

5.5. Working Titles

The following games all had their titles changed before they were actually released:-

5.6. What hidden games are there?

A hidden game is basically a game that is accessed from the main game by typing in some sort of cheat, and is normally completely separate in style to the game it is part of.

Booty (Firebird) had a hidden game - it was a cheap'n'cheerful Scuba-Dive type game, but not nearly as sophisticated. To activate it you had to connect a Currah uSpeech unit, load the game, then wait for the attract mode to play all the way through. Then the diving game appeared. Does anyone know how to access it without needing the speech unit?

There is also a hidden game in Starfarce (Binary Design?), but accessing it is unknown at this time. It tells you in an old issue of SU, if anybody cares to look, and it's reckoned to be quite good.

There is also one in the Boggit (Delta 4). Apparently you type in "Delta 4" to get to it, but this must be in the second part (otherwise you get the message "Try again in part 2."). Unfortunately, to play part 2 you need to load a file from part 1, which is very difficult with a normal emulator. Does anyone have an "open" version?

There is a hidden game in Zub 128 (Mastertronic) and you can see how to access it if you go to pause mode. Pressing 2, 4, 6 and 8 will access the cheat, while pressing 1, 3, 5 and 7 will access a hidden game called Light Farce. However, this will only work with emulators that can read more than two keys at once. This game is exactly the same as the game Zarjas that appeared on the cover of Sinclair User, as part of their Megatape 1 compilation.

Everyone's a Wally (Mikrogen) had an Asteroids game when you entered the Public Telephone. It also had a Daley Thompson's Decathlon (Ocean) style sprint where you raced against a fish.

In fact Herbert's Dummy Run (Mikrogen) was riddled with them. There is rumoured to be a space invaders clone with Daleks for invaders, a breakout clone using the tennis raquet, etc.

All the "hidden games" in MikroGen games, ie Wally etc, were in fact essential parts of the main game, and you had to clear a certain number of waves of aliens, etc, before a certain task could be completed.

Short Circuit (Ocean) has a space invaders machine in one of the rooms that you can play, providing you have found the 1 pound coin to put in it. If I remember rightly you had to get the 10p coin from the plant tub somewhere and then play the hidden fruit machine that was somewhere else, then you'd win the pound coin so that you could go and play the Space Invaders machine.

Forbidden Planet (Design Design) had at least 2 hidden games, `Whino Hunt' which you got to by pressing lots of keys during the game, and a reasonably acurate space invaders clone which you got by holding down a key as the game finished loading.

The Prequel to Forbidden Planet, namely Dark Star (Design Design), had a sort of hidden game, except that it was more like a spoof of Teletext called Spectacle. It was accessed by typing in "we are all mad" (or something similar - can anyone help?). This is available as a snapshot in itself, but the URL is unknown to me.

5.7. Which games are legally distributable?

As far as I know, All of Don Preistly's games can be passed around willy-nilly. These include the Trapdoor games, and Flunky.

Vortex's games can also be distributed.

Unless express permission is given by the owner of a title, passing copies around is illegal, but that never stopped us in the 80's and it won't stop us now. Given the fact that the games are old, many software houses don't really care that the games are copied. However, a few do. Elite in particular, is a game that the owners keep an eye on. I have also heard that Ultimate do not like their games being distributed freely. Tsk, capitalism eh?

Section 6 - Ultimate Play the Game

6.1. Is there a trailer in Lunar Jetman?

Apparently the picture in Crash of this game which had a trailer in it was a fake. There is no trailer in Lunar Jetman, virtually completely proved beyond all reasonable doubt when someone disassembled the game and went through it byte-by-byte. Someone has also played the game through to some of the very high levels (using a cheat, of course) still with no sign of a trailer.

Apparently a reader of Crash sent in a picture of the Lunar Rover pulling a caravan, about two months after this. (Needless to say a fake).

6.2. Was there a third Jetman game?

Yes there was. It was called Solar Jetman (Rare) and it only came out on the NES. The Sales Curve were going to convert this to the Spectrum, but it never came to light. Incidently, Jetpac crashes when your score becomes too high. Not a common problem for me, I'm afraid.

6.3. The Ultimate Company names.

Ultimate started out as Ashby Computers and Graphics (A.C.G.), before changing it to Ultimate Play the Game. They now exists as Rare, working with Nintendo who own a 25% stake in the company, producing excellent coin-ops like Killer Instinct.

6.4. The Ultimate Games Linked.

The Ultimate games (namely Sabre Man) are linked in the following way. If anybody can add more to this, or if it is wrong, then please tell me.

Sabre Man fell into the land of Sabre Wulf. When he found the exit, he entered the Underwurlde. Unfortunately he was bitten by the junglewulf at sometime during this, turning him into a lycanthrope (werewolf). The only way he could cure this was to go to Knightlore Castle and employ the talents of the wizard Melkhior to free him from the curse.

Well, that's all there is so far, but I'm updating it with each reply I get. Keep them coming! Thanks.

I damn-well liked that page so much I want to read more!

Compiled by Stephen Smith ( - He's permanently in a gloomy empty land with dreary hills ahead. (Did I get that right?)

Spectrum users do it with a rubber.