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Old 14 September 2001, 09:48   #1
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Cool The day I completed Bombjack

It´s a sunny afternoon. My wife is at work and the children are playing outside. I´m bored. Sitting in front of the TV, I wonder what to do this evening. I decide to make myself a coffee, so I go to the kitchen. As I´m nearly there, a big box gets my attention. Hmm, what may be in there ? Surely some Christmas things or something like that, that my wife wants me to put away for her. I try to lift the box but it´s very heavy and so I decide to open it to have a look inside. But wait a minute, what´s that ??? It´s my old Amstrad CPC 464 Computer that I´ve been playing on years ago. Only got a Tape Drive, my Floppy got boken years ago. I wonder if it´s still working, so I make some spare room on the table and put the CPC on it. Now for the big moment : I push the power button and with a nearly not hearable "bzzzzzz" the CPC got back to life after more than 12 years. Now I´m standing in front of this machine, getting a blue screen with yellow letters on it, stating that it is ready to load a program. I remember I stood there more than 10 minutes only watching this Screen and the yellow letters on it. Uhhh, do I still have some Tapes ?? I´m running up the stairs to get to my room. There have to be at least SOME games left for this great machine. Thirty minutes later I got about fifteen Tapes and some Floppy´s but since these are useless without any Floppy Drive I carefully put them back into the box. Back at the table where the CPC is still presenting his blue boot screen, I begin to look at the tapes I digged out some minutes ago...... "Enduro Racer", "Thrust", "Starglider", "Bombjack" .... wait ..... Bombjack ?? YES, that´s the game to play today. I carefully open the Tape Drive and put the tape inside. I push the play button, hmmm, nothing seems to happen. Wait, what was the syntax for the load command ? Ah, yes, LOAD "" ! I cannot hold it anymore, I´m nearly about to cry as I typed L O A D " " on my old Computer. These deep feeling I got for this lovely machine makes me forget the world around me completely. As I hit return, the tape drive begins to spin and a whispering noise appears in the room. The screen displays : Loading "Bombjack.bas" .... hmm, the loader. Since I have to wait some time for the game to load, I decide to go to the kitchen now and make the coffee. Grabbing my Cigarrets from the kitchen table and my coffee, I get back 6 minutes later and the Bombjack mainscreen allready popped up. Well, let´s play then but wait, uhhhh I need a joystick. So back upstairs and search some other boxes. Yes, there it is, my good old Competition Pro. Black with a red stick. I find myself running down the stairs, trying to be as fast as possible, only in mind that I´m about to play a classic computer game after 12 years again. I plug the joystick in his port. Now the big moment, I´m pressing fire. The playfield appears, "READY" is shown on the screen. The sprite of Bombjack himself appears at the center of the screen, starting to fall down. I start to move the stick. First bomb, second, third ...... I cannot get my eye´s of the screen. This is fascinating. The first three levels get me in no trouble at all, still having all of my lifes, I start into the fourth level. Over to the left, first bomb, second ......... AHRG. That one costs me a life. Ah well still enough left, so again, over to the left, first bomb, second .... NO, not again. I feel my hand begin to sweat. It´s getting critical. Once again, over to the left, first bomb, second, third ..... pfewww, another level passed. So on to the next level and what catches my eye ? A "E" is floating around the screen. That gets me an extra life, YES. I´m on the trail again. At the end of the level another "E". The rest was easy. After getting through the final level, I feel a great relief. I looked around me and saw my wife looking with wide eyes to the chaos I brought to our living room. Cables, tapes and all that stuff are floating around. I looked at her and laughed. Not because of her wondering face, but about playing one of the greatest games of all times on one of the greatest Homecomputers ever built. This was one of the most exciting days in my life. Since then, the CPC got a place in my room, and whenever I feel sad or something is depressing me, I turn it on for a round of good old Bombjack. But since back then, I NEVER EVER managed to finish Bombjack again. But that doesn´t really matter.

I wish you guys here on EAB a great time and also some great memories on your own. If you also have such stories, I like to hear it. Greetings from germany and may the RetroForce be with you ......
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Old 14 September 2001, 12:41   #2
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Almost brought a tear to my eye....

For everyone speaking German here is another great nostalgia story by mishRa from 'The Legacy' website:

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Old 14 September 2001, 13:12   #3
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Originally posted by s4murai
How many levels are there in the Amiga version?
Well, I think the Amiga Version does have as many Levels as the CPC Version and IIRC there were 5 different backgrounds, after that, you return to level one with a different platform layout. It´s a long time ago, so I hope this is correct.
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Old 14 September 2001, 14:32   #4
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C64 Bombjack

I have only played the C64 and Amiga versions of Bombjack but yes, there are only 5 backgrounds which repeat with other levels. I once trained the game with the AR6 cartridge on the C64 adding infinite lives and played up to level 28 or something and no end was in sight so there must be a LOT of levels! The old trick of reversing them with a mirror effect was also used a lot in those days, no doubt in that game too.

BTW why the hell did they make level 5/10/15 etc so bloody hard?!? The arcade is much easier due to the sprite being much smaller compared to the screen size...

Hint: On level 4, collect 6 bombs, then a 'B' appears. Just wait a few seconds more without collecting anything else and the 'E' will appear like clockwork!
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Old 14 September 2001, 20:38   #5
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Smile I love Bombjack!

I love Bombjack, but you either now that or have guessed that already!

I have played it on many machines and have got to an insane number of levels on the Spectrum - about level 50 and there was no end in sight! I also remember some flash git playing it in the arcade and he got to level 72! The platform layouts just repeat themselves for ages and ages. I am not sure if these versions are actually completable!

I don't know about the Amstrad version being harder than the arcade! Those robot things get incredibly fast on the arcade after about ten levels!
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Old 14 September 2001, 22:46   #6
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Ahh, lovely tale! specially I am very glad you dug out your old machine from storage and put it to good use! I have a neat 'little' Amstrad CPC 6128. It's a great machine, I didn't know squat about it until a french mate from IRC taught me 'the way of the CPCer' I fell in love with the machine thru emulation and I had to get one. So I did
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Old 16 September 2001, 22:49   #7
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Aah the CPC

Does anyone remember those demo's on the CPC? C64 people used to say demo'ing would never be as good on a CPC, until... some whizkids found out how to show the amount of colors available in Mode 0 on a Mode 2 screen!

The day those demo-disks arrived by mail was one completely lost in drooling and watching my screen...
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Old 16 September 2001, 23:08   #8
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Yep, would be kewl if I could find some of them again but since I really don´t know a way to put files from PC back to the CPC, it would be not the same.... maybe they even refuse to work on Emulators, since they use some Hacks in the Code. I still got some basic code here to make text appear in the border of the CPC Screen, very nice ....
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