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Guy Wilkinson sold his ZX81 and bought a Jupiter Ace for £80, rather than a ZX Spectrum. Delivery times on Spectrums were long and it was much more expensive. Despite the ribbing from his fellow schoolmates, he quickly learnt how to program it and started writing games in the FORTH language. Guy wanted to publish his games in magazines, however the biggest problem was that they needed printed out code. He would hand type the code in at School on a teletype, print it and send it in, which led to mistakes.

Guy Wilkinson's Ace slightly modified with a power ON LED and a speaker grill, drilled though the Aces case.
Guy's Ace modified with a power LED and
speaker grill drilled though the Aces case
Computer magazines were not interested in publishing the games so Guy Wilkinson and Marcus Jones decided to market them. All advertising was in the back pages of “Your Computer” and other magazines.
Marcus did all the footwork of placing Ads and designing the covers and handling tape copies. Guy worked painfully on designing graphics and software for the Ace.
A few copies of games tapes 1, 3 and Firebird were sold, some customers were as far away as Spain. However despite lots of programming activity, business died off shortly after Jupiter Cantab liquidated.
Out of all the games, Firebird was the best. A huge program that took its design ideas from “Phoenix”, it ran on a 19K machine and took a few months to write. Initially it took the name of “Astrovaders” but as it got bigger with more screens it changed to “Firebird”. It has the usual flying birds, docking and mother ship stuff, all the things that good “shoot em ups” should have.

“Krazy Kong” and “Fungle Monsters” were never sold, they never really got beyond a prototype stage with “Fungle Monsters” being the last one written. After that, the Ace was pushed back into the closet when the BBC micro came on the scene. The last project Guy did on the Ace was to connect the BBC to the Ace so that they could talk to each other via a single wire across the house. Text typed on one appeared on the other and Guys mother said “what is the point in that?” Back then, who would have thought that email would become so big.

Advert in Popular Computing Weekly 14-20 April 1983 Issue


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Newsletters One and Two.
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Some screen layouts of the games, these would have taken quite a while to plan out

Krazy Kong    Firebird
Krazy Kong screen and Firebird character bit map.

Firebird game screen and a Tape index screen.

Where is he now?

He now writes software for automotive embedded control systems