Your Sinclair, or YS as it was abbreviated, was a British computer magazine for the Sinclair range of computers the ZX Spectrum. The magazine was launched in January 1984 as Your Spectrum by Sportscene Specialist Press renamed to Dennis Publishing in April 1987, it was published bimonthly, changing to monthly in June 1984. With the January 1986 issue, the title was relaunched as Your Sinclair, with the intention of expanding coverage of the QL into the main magazine, any future computers produced by Sinclair. However, the magazine remained focused entirely on the ZX Spectrum games scene. In 1990, the magazine was sold to Bath-based Future plc, the April 1990 issue was the first to be published by the new company; that issue's news section contained a feature on the move, which jokingly suggested that Future had intended to buy a Sinclair C5 and had ended up buying the magazine by mistake. It folded in September 1993, after the commercial life of the Spectrum ended and the magazine had fewer than 40 pages per issue.
A 94th issue, a retrospective on the magazine, was published in 2004 and given away free with Retro Gamer magazine. It featured interviews with notable writers and reviewers, a four-page memoir written by former staff writer Phil South, several new reviews and tips, keeping the style of the original magazine throughout; the magazine introduced a unique writing style, inspired by launch editor Roger Munford and expanded upon by subsequent editors and writers. Influences can be found in titles ranging from Private Eye to Viz. Towards the end of the magazine's life, under the editorship of Jonathan Nash, the style was further influenced by magazines YS had itself inspired, in particular Amiga Power and fanzine The Thing Monthly; the original 1986 Your Sinclair team included Kevin Cox, Teresa "T'zer" Maughan, Sara Biggs, Pete Shaw, Phil "Snouty" South. Marcus Berkmann joined as staff writer in early 1987 when Maughan took over as editor. Freelance writers of the time included John Minson, Mike Gerrard, Max Phillips, Tony Worrall and David McCandless.
The final 1993 team consisted of just two permanent staff members: Jonathan Nash and Andy Ounsted. Steve Anderson, Rich Pelley, Tim Kemp, Simon Cooke, Dave Golder and Simon Forrester were among those working on a freelance basis. YS's content varied occasionally ignoring the subject of computers entirely; as the Spectrum scene diminished and there was less software to review, this happened more frequently. In 1992, under the editorship of Andy Hutchinson, several'lifestyle' type sections were introduced; these included Haylp!, an agony aunt column, The World, which contained reviews of films and books. This section included The Killer Kolumn From Outer Space, dedicated to science fiction news and reviews, it was written by Dave Golder, who went on to be the second editor of the successful SFX. Writing in the 100th issue of that publication, Golder cited his earlier work on YS and described SFX as "like hundreds of Killer Kolumns stapled together". Flip! was discontinued, but the Killer Kolumn was kept on until the penultimate issue in 1993.
A similar page to Flip!/The World had existed in 1987-88 called Street Life, but this had contained Spectrum game charts. The news section was called Frontlines and dealt with Sinclair news and rumours, it regularly contained mock celebrity interviews and trivial charts, as well as features about the writers themselves. Subsections of Pssst and Frontlines included T'zers, a column which contained rumours about possible forthcoming releases for the Spectrum and on, the SAM Coupe, it was named after and written by Teresa Maughan, but the column remained after she left the magazine, as it was felt'T'zers' was an appropriate title since it contained'teasers' for future games. Rock Around The Clock, which first appeared in 1991, was a small column dedicated to looking at a particular back issue, as well as news and current affairs from the same time. One of the odder sections of Pssst was the Peculiar Pets Corner. Editor Matt Bielby intended this to be a showcase for YS readers' exotic pets such as snakes, monkeys or spiders, but these "pets" included such things as a purple fruit gum and a tuba.
When an editor or member of the writing staff left, the magazine would concoct fanciful stories surrounding their leaving. Matt Bielby was carted off to the funny farm after declaring himself to be God, Andy Ide became a Green Party ambassador, Andy Hutchinson left to design a skate park at Alton Towers. In actuality, the majority of ex-YS staff went on to work for other magazines, such as Amiga Power. Your Sinclair's reviewing system varied throughout the magazine's life. During the Your Spectrum era, game reviews were confined to the Spectrum Soft section called Joystick Jury. Games were reviewed by a panel of reviewers and given a mark out of 10. In practice this was a score out of 9, since no game received a perfect 10, on the rationale that a better game could come along at a date. After the name change to Joystick Jury, games were judged by each individual reviewer to be either a'hit' or a'miss'; the hit and miss system was abandoned with Issue 19, with the transition to Your Sinclair, the review section was renamed Screen Shots.
In Screen Shots, games were still rated out of ten, but they were given separate
Astaroth, in demonology, is the Great Duke of Hell in the first hierarchy with Beelzebub and Lucifer. He is a male figure most named after the Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar; the name Astaroth was derived from that of 2nd millennium BCE Phoenician goddess Astarte, an equivalent of the Babylonian Ishtar, the earlier Sumerian Inanna. She is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible in the forms Ashtaroth; this latter form was directly transliterated in the early Greek and Latin versions of the Bible, where it was less apparent that it had been a plural feminine in Hebrew. The pseudepigraphal work Testament of Solomon, attributed to King Solomon of Israel, but thought to date to the early centuries CE, mentions "Asteraoth" as an angel, opposed to the demon of power; the name "Astaroth" as a male demon is first known from The Book of Abramelin, purportedly written in Hebrew c. 1458, recurred in most occult grimoires of the following centuries. Astaroth features as an archdemon associated with the qliphoth according to Kabbalistic texts.
Dutch demonologist Johann Weyer described Astaroth in his Pseudomonarchia Daemonum thus: "Astaroth is a great and a strong duke, coming forth in the shape of a foul angel, sitting upon an infernal dragon, carrying on his right hand a viper", who claimed to rule 40 legions, had to be approached by the conjurer with a magical ring on account of his stinking breath. He is referred to in the 17th-century work The Lesser Key of Solomon. According to some demonologists of the 16th century, August is the month during which this demon's attacks against man are stronger. According to Sebastien Michaelis, he is a demon of the First Hierarchy, who seduces by means of laziness, self-doubt, rationalized philosophies, his adversary is St. Bartholomew, who can protect against him for he has resisted Astaroth's temptations. To others, he teaches mathematical sciences and handicrafts, can make men invisible and lead them to hidden treasures, answers every question formulated to him, he was said to give to mortal beings the power over serpents.
According to Francis Barrett, Astaroth is the prince of inquisitors. In art, in the Dictionnaire Infernal, Astaroth is depicted as a nude man with feathered wings, wearing a crown, holding a serpent in one hand, riding a beast with dragon-like wings and a serpent-like tail, he is named in the 1976 Hammer horror film To the Devil a Daughter. A box bearing his name is present during the trial scene of John Fowles's The Magus, he appears as a minor antagonist in the anime adaptation of the manga series Blue Exorcist. He is mentioned by name in the original manga. Astaroth in popular culture Ishtar Astarte Asherah S. L. MacGregor Mathers, A. Crowley, The Goetia: The Lesser Key of Solomon the King. 1995 reprint: ISBN 0-87728-847-X
Technician Ted is a platform game for the Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum home computers, published in 1984 by Hewson Consultants. Technician Ted is an enthusiastic young computer hacker, he must complete 21 tasks before clocking-off at 5.00 pm. His boss hasn't told him what the tasks are or where they are located. Ted speaks to his mate who tells him that his first job is to get to his desk and from there he must make his way to the "Silicon Slice Store". Technician Ted is a flick-screen platform game made up of many different named screens. On many of these screens there are two boxes which must be touched in the correct order in order to complete the task; some of these tasks must be completed within a time-limit making it important for the player to guide Ted from one box to the other as as possible. As well as the tasks, Ted must avoid the various monsters that lurk in the factory and make sure he completes all of his tasks within the game's time limit so he can finish his day; the in-game music is an adaptation of the Radetzky March by Johann Strauss Sr.
The Spectrum and Amstrad versions feature a sprite-animated loading screen with a countdown timer, a significant technical achievement at the time. When reviewed in Crash magazine the game scored an Overall 96%; when Technician Ted was reviewed by Your Sinclair magazine in 1985 it was awarded 6/10 although a review of the re-released game by the same magazine in 1989 awarded it 8/10. In 1992, it was placed at number 84 in the "Your Sinclair official top 100". Technician Ted was followed by a sequel, Costa Capers, in 1985. In 1986, Hewson published a special version of the game for 128K ZX Spectrums called Technician Ted - The Megamix; as well as featuring 100 extra rooms, this version has three-channel chip music and the tasks have been numbered in order to make the order they are to be done in easier to understand. Technician Ted at SpectrumComputing.co.uk
Netherworld (video game)
Netherworld is a shoot'em up video game published by Hewson in 1988. It was developed by Jukka Tapanimäki for the Commodore 64, original music was composed by Jori Olkkonen; the object is to collect as many diamonds as possible from the level. Once enough diamonds are collected, the craft must reach a teleporter to go to the next level before the time runs out. Aside of the time limit, there are various obstacles, ranging from monsters to items which can damage the craft or block the path; the ship can destroy some obstacles by shooting, sometimes turning them to diamonds as well. The game cover art features Tapanimäki's face; the cover art was done without his approval. There was friction between Tapanimäki. Tapanimäki did not see the final version until the press conference in London where the game was released, giving him a big shock. Many game magazines published a cheat code; the Spanish magazine Microhobby valued the game with the following scores: Originality: 80% Graphics: 80% Motion: 80% Sound: 80% Difficulty: 100% Addiction: 100% Netherworld at Lemon 64 Netherworld at the Amiga Hall of Light Netherworld at Atari Mania Netherworld at SpectrumComputing.co.uk Netherworld, Tec Dubelin Xbox
Cybernoid II: The Revenge
Cybernoid II: The Revenge is a shoot'em up released by Hewson Consultants in 1988 for the Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum home computers. It was subsequently released for the Atari ST and Amiga, it is the sequel to Cybernoid. The game is similar to its predecessor, but with improved graphics and minor differences in gameplay; the player must pilot their fighter through multiple levels destroying pirate spacecraft while collecting gems and powerups. Sinclair User: "If you're expecting something new and original, forget it..." Your Sinclair: "... a souped-up, all-new version of the bestest blaster we've seen on the beermat this year..." Crash: "Not as stunning second time round, but still maintains the original's playability... 88%" Cybernoid II at SpectrumComputing.co.uk Cybernoid 2 at The Little Green Desktop Cybernoid II at Lemon Amiga Cybernoid II at Lemon 64 Cybernoid 2 at C64.com Cybernoid II at MobyGames
Nebulus (video game)
Nebulus is a video game created by John M. Phillips and published by Hewson Consultants in the late 1980s for various home computer systems. International releases and ports were known by various other names, including Castelian, Kyorochan Land and Tower Toppler; the game's original 8-bit release received some critical acclaim, in particular the Commodore 64 release, which garnered a Gold Medal award from UK magazine Zzap!64. Nebulus was followed by Nebulus 2, on the Amiga in the 1990s. An Atari ST version was in development but was cancelled. Nebulus is a platform game with some distinctive unique features; the player character, a small green creature called Pogo, is on a mission to destroy eight towers that have been built in the sea, by planting bombs at the towers' peaks. Pogo's progress is hindered by enemies and obstacles, which he has to avoid in order to reach the top of the tower; the actual gameplay happens at each tower in turn. Pogo has to find his way up to the top; the towers are cylinder-shaped and have ledges on their outside, either horizontal, forming stairs or connected by elevators.
Because of the cylindrical shape, the towers have no "left" or "right" edges, instead allowing Pogo to walk all around the tower. A graphical innovation, the most notable feature of the game, is that when Pogo walks left or right, he always stays in the centre of the visible screen. Instead of the Pogo sprite moving, the tower behind him turns clockwise or counterclockwise with a convincing sense of depth; this was noted favourably in reviews of the game. Along his way to the top of the tower, Pogo encounters many different enemies shaped like basic geometric shapes. Pogo can shoot some of the enemies. Contact with an enemy knocks Pogo down to the ledge below. If there is no ledge below, Pogo drowns. Once he has reached the top of the tower, Pogo needs to enter a door to trigger the tower's destruction mechanism. After that, the tower crumbles to the sea. Pogo boards his submarine and enters a bonus stage, where he can shoot various kinds of fish to score bonus points; the game was released by Hewson for the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga, Atari ST and Acorn Archimedes.
The US version, published by U. S. Gold, was released under the title Tower Toppler. A version for the Atari 7800 was released with this title; the Game Boy and Nintendo Entertainment System versions of Castelian were developed by Bits Studios and released in the United States by Triffix and in Japan by Hiro Entertainment. The Game Boy and Nintendo versions were released in Japan as Kyoro Chan Land, which replaced Julius with Kyorochan, jewels with Chocoballs, altered the enemy graphics and added a password system and a pause feature; the Italian bootleg version was called Subline. The Nintendo versions were composed by David Whittaker, the title songs were covered by Whittaker from the original Tower Toppler game's title screen. In the Famicom version, the title screen plays. In 2004 it was re-released on the C64 Direct-to-TV. On June 20, 2008, the C64 DTV version made its comeback on the Wii's Virtual Console download service in Europe on June 13, 2008 and in North America on May 4, 2009; the Atari 8-bit version was being developed around 1988 by the author of the Atari 7800 port, was intended to be released by Atari Corporation for the XE Game System.
However, although the game appeared in Atari promotional material of the time, it never reached the market. The game's prototype cartridge was found. Compute! Stated that the Commodore 64 version of Tower Toppler had "good arcade action, with well-executed graphics". Orson Scott Card wrote in the magazine that "the graphics are terrific... As science fiction, it's fun but shallow; as an action game, it's just plain fun". Computer Gaming World gave the game a positive review, saying, "Between delightfully benign game play... clever obstacles, lively animation, you will have a great time with this game. Well, maybe you won't, but I will." It earned a Zzap! Gold Medal Award; the game was voted Best Original Game Of The Year at the Golden Joystick Awards. The ZX Spectrum version was rated number 30 in the Your Sinclair Official Top 100 Games of All Time; the Amiga version was ranked the 14th best game of all time by Amiga Power. Nebulus at SpectrumComputing.co.uk Nebulus at Lemon 64 Tower Toppler for the Atari 7800 at AtariAge Castelian at GameFAQs
Uridium is a science fiction side-scrolling shoot'em up designed by Andrew Braybrook for the Commodore 64, ported to other 8-bit machines. It consists of fifteen levels, each named after a metal element, with the last level being called Uridium; the manual quotes Robert Orchard, who invented the name as saying "I thought it existed." Uridium was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1990. Mindscape purchased a license to release a game based on the film The Last Starfighter. Rather than program a new game, Mindscape decided to take an easier route by recycling an older obscure game; the title screen and soundtrack were modified, but the levels and gameplay were identical. In 2003, it was re-released on the C64 Direct-to-TV. In 2008, the C64 version was announced as a title on the Wii Virtual Console. On 28 March 2008, Uridium was released for the Virtual Console in Europe; the plot of Uridium is described as follows: The solar system is under attack! Enemy Super-Dreadnoughts have been placed in orbit around each of the fifteen planets in this galactic sector.
They are draining mineral resources from the planetary cores for use in their interstellar power units. Each Super-Dreadnought seeks out a different metal for its metal converter. Your Manta class Space Fighter will be transported to each planet in turn and it is your task to destroy each Dreadnought. First you must attack the defensive screen of enemy fighters you must neutralise the majority of surface defences before you land on the Super-Dreadnought's master runway. Once on board you must pull as many fuel rods as possible from the metal converters before you take off for a final strafing run as the Dreadnought vaporises into the ether. In practice, each level takes place at a fixed altitude just above the surface of the Dreadnoughts; the screen scrolls horizontally in both directions. Each Dreadnought has a different configuration of walls and other structures which must be negotiated in order to reach the landing zone; this task is hampered by squadrons of enemy fighters. Lastly, flashing ports on the Dreadnought's surface release homing mines.
It takes a skillful Manta pilot to outfly the mines. Only when enough of the Dreadnought's defenses have been destroyed is the "Land Now!" Signal activated, allowing the player to slow the Manta's speed to a minimum and land on the sternward landing zone. After this, the pilot enters the interior of the mothership and sets its nuclear reactor to self-destruct; the Manta takes off again as the Dreadnought below it crumbles to atoms. As the Manta flies over the Dreadnought again the player has the opportunity to shoot any remaining defences. Dreadnoughts have tricky wall configurations where the gap between the walls is so narrow that the Manta must turn sideways in order to pass through it; this required skillful use of the joystick. More skill could be exhibited by ignoring the "Land Now!" Signal and destroying the elite fighters that attacked in waves of one. When Uridium was released, reviewers were impressed by the way the Dreadnoughts were presented. In a simulation of parallax scrolling, the surface of the Dreadnoughts scrolls horizontally, whereas the stars in the background stay still.
Since the Commodore 64's graphics do not support parallax scrolling, particular trickery was required to achieve this. The way it was done is that the Dreadnoughts' surface is the background, the black empty space and the stars are character glyphs on the foreground; as the Commodore 64's graphics chip scrolls the screen to the left or right, the character glyphs representing the stars change shape by shifting their single lit pixels to the right or left, countering the scroll of the screen and giving the impression they were stationary. Uridium was followed by Uridium+, Uridium 2 on the Amiga platform. Computer Gaming World praised Uridium for its graphics' ability to display depth, as well as the game's robust controls. Zzap!64 were enthusiastic, describing the game as "Visually awesome, sonically sound, technically stunning and a brilliant shoot em up to boot". It was rated 94% overall. Antic liked the game, citing its "detailed and lifelike graphics"; the game won the award for best shooting game of the year according to the readers of Crash magazine.
It was voted Best Arcade-style Game of the Year at the 1986 Golden Joystick Awards. One of Andrew Braybrook's releases, contained a homing mine enemy called an "Uridimine", named no doubt as a tribute to the homing mines of Uridium; some aficionados refer to the homing mines as "Uridimines" when talking about Uridium or Uridium 2, as well. Uridium at MobyGames Uridium at SpectrumComputing.co.uk Uridium at Lemon 64 Uridium at CPC Zone Uridium Wii Virtual Console Review on VC-Reviews.com