The Retro Collection - Part 3

Amstrad CPC 464 & Green Screen

Many years ago when I was just a wee youngster, almost a toddler in fact! I had my very first computer and that computer was the Amstrad CPC 464, with a very bright green screen monitor. A computer that would probably scare off small children nowadays, especially with it's clunky tape cassette player and low resolution screen, but during that era it was the best thing ever, at least for me! It was 1984 and I think I had just turned 5 yet unbeknownst to me, I would have a computer that would start me down the line to where I am today, on computers!

I still can't believe I got my first computer in 1984,  to some parts of me it feels so recent, especially with the collection I have recently gathered. Yet we as adults are so blinded by nostalgia, we remember a better time with awesome games, tons of play ability and non stop action. But try to pick up an old retro game today and play it nonstop, chances are you'll put it straight back down and play the PC. 

During those years I remember playing some awesome games such as Ghostbusters, Green Beret, Dragons Lair and yes even Dizzy. I remember playing games with my dad and taking my computer to his house on most weekends as he was in the airforce, and of cause going in to town just to buy more games. Prices during that time usually ranged from £2.99 and upwards, but the feeling of holding a game tape in your hand was something else, not sure if kids get that feeling today that we did as youngsters. It was also a time I had a closer connection with my dad as we both used to compete against each other on dragons lair, trying to see who would fall of the spinning disc first, yet funny enough, even today he still remembers it well. Who's the big kid here?

There was something else that many retro gamers would never forget from that era, it didn't matter if it was the Amstrad, C64 or ZX Spectrum they all had squealing tapes. Place tape in, type a command and listen to the weeeeeeeeeeeeee oooooooooo weeeeee sound and hope that it would end with a successful launch, as sometimes the tape were dodgy and needed to be returned. But again this added a certain charm to that era of gaming, oh and I never did have a colour monitor, that was more reserved for the rich kids!

Many years after that I gave my Amstrad to someone else and said " Sell this Amstrad and give me the money ", I never saw my Amstrad again, what a complete fool I was! Yet this year after many many years of pondering I finally got another Amstrad, nope it's not a CPC 464 but a 6128! This Amstrad had more ram, a floppy device and better connect ability with other devices. It also came with a green screen! But do you know what the funniest thing was? The monitor was bloody small! It was as if someone gave me a notebook screen yet at 5 years old the screen was huge! Rememeber what I said about nostalgia?

So here it is, the Amstrad CPC 6128 released some years after the CPC 464, I also purchased myself a Scart kit so it can be plugged into any size TV for full screen colour, something I never had at that age! 


There was also something missing.... A tape cable, no point collecting tapes if you can't play them, so straight onto Amibay I went and got myself a nice cable. You can even plug the cable into any mp3 device and play Amstrad CTD files as if it was the real thing, incredible! Now all I need is a HXC to be able to play tons of .DSK files. But enough about that, lets move onto the collection.

What's a collection if it isn't for Dizzy, a game that annoyed so many people but is one of the greatest series of games ever made (by the Oliver Twins), you won't find many adults that haven't heard of Dizzy, yet these are proving difficult to source now, especially Crystal Kingdom Dizzy & Spellbound Dizzy, but I won't give up!


But it's time to move onto something special as this month I hit the golden payload, the big haul collection! I was recently on Ebay and found someone who was selling a collection of games up to about 70 in fact, at a very low bidding and collection only. Thankfully only one person was bidding and I went in for the last few mins and got them for just £13. I was overjoyed to say the least, as these games don't come up very often, some of them are extremely popular even on other systems such as the C64 etc.







Batman, Ghostbusters, Grand Prix, Spellbound, Trapdoor the memories came flooding back, holding these tapes in my hand was like holding my childhood memories. I remember the games and how they played without even looking at the back of the box. It was a very strange feeling, yet to have them again is beyond words!

But there is a sad tale to this collection as when my friend picked them up, he noted that the bedroom of which these tapes stood was as if it was a shrine. The person who owned these tapes had died tragically in a car crash and the parents felt it very hard to let go of his collection. But atleast they can be safe in the knowledge I'll look after them, perhaps they were meant to go to me?

But in any case that's the end of this retro collection so far, at least until I find more games ;)

Hope you enjoyed the read!

Part 1 : Here
Part 2 : Here

UPDATE : If you want to see some of these games and more being played, then check out this video from jesusarnold.

3 comments:

  1. Oh wow, that takes me back - I cut my game development teeth on the CPC464! Memories of saving up £2 or £3 to go round the local record shop and buy the latest Mastertronic, Firebird, whatever game and have a go... so much more imagination in games at that time than the generic AAA stuff that gets chunked out today!

    What I don't get though is this - back then, we'd think nothing of throwing a couple of quid at a game with little real idea of how good it was, and nobody was really too bothered if they got a dud game, they'd just wait a bit and get something else... and yet now, people sniff at spending a lot less on a mobile game, often of much higher quality! What's that all about?

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  2. INDIERETRONEWS24 May 2014 at 23:51

    Thanks for your own thoughts Ben! As I said on FB, I believe us kiddies were sold on the pretty colours and excellent cover art. Well atleast I did, the better the cover the more chance of me buying it.

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  3. Ace of Aces! An under-appreciated gem...

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