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Full title Centipede
Year of release 1984
Publisher Boldfield Computing
Producer / Author(s) Colin Dooley
Memory 19 k
Type Game
Original Cost £5.95
Instructions CENTIPEDE

Load and run the program by entering:

    load centipede go

Controls
These are displayed on running the program

Instructions

Centipedes move across the screen until they hit a side or a mushroom, where they turn, go down a line, and continue on their way.

If a centipede is shot, the hit segment turns to a mushroom, and the two remaining parts of centipede continue individually — the part without a head grows a new one! If you come into contact with any creature you are blown up. damaged mushrooms are repaired (you score points for each one), and the game continues.

Each new screen is more difficult than the last, with plummeting fleas starting on the second screen. Scores are: 500 points per flea, 100 per centipede head. 10 per centipede segment, 1 to 5 points per mushroom. A bonus life is awarded every 10.000 points.

SPECIAL FEATURES

If a SOUNDBOX (ref. AC4) is fitted, this program generates additional sound effects. The internal sound can also be amplified by connecting to the MIC socket on the computer.

Personal memories from the author..

I wrote Centipede when I was at University. I think Boldfield used to bundle it with their add-on sound box because it was the only game which worked with it.

The sound box had an AY-3-8910 sound chip in it and two I/O ports on the side. You can connect a joystick to the I/O port and it will work with the game. I don't remember the exact connections but it'll be Port A, pins 1-4 or something obvious. If you have a sound box try shorting those pins to ground and see if anything happens on screen.

I don't remember how long it took to write but I can tell you it was all written in hexadecimal code - no assembler or anything. Forth wasn't fast enough for me!

I think I made about £60 in royalties from sales of Centipede.

I actually wrote a second game on my ACE called "Valkyr" but it never saw the light of day. It ended up on MSX machines you can see it here.

I think my ACE died around the time I was writing Valkyr (probably due to all the soldering and modification it had suffered).
I put my ACE inside one of those a ZX81 add-on keyboards - the ACE keyboard wasn't very good, not even as good as a Sinclair Spectrum - and the white plastic "Jupiter ACE" shell was hanging on my wall for a while.

My RAM pack was connected to the ACE via a piece of ribbon cable (no "RAM pack wobble" for me!).

I also did the "make the speaker loader with a transistor" mod and probably a few other horrible things to the circuit board. All in all it was a Franken-ACE when I finished with it.

My mum once made me a Jupiter ACE shaped birthday cake with liquorice keys on it!
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Cassette image:

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