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Member Since 11 Apr 2014
Offline Last Active Aug 07 2020 05:52 PM

#12270 Playing around.

Posted by Spider on 30 July 2020 - 09:29 AM

When Norman is back and picks this up, I wonder if he would be amenable to Daniel Gromann creating an entry for some future update of his website jswcentral.org for 'Manic Panic'?  The many novelties in the project mean it's definitely worthy of an entry!

That's an excellent idea I think. :)

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#12268 Playing around.

Posted by Spider on 22 July 2020 - 02:14 PM

Thanks Norman for all you've done! B)


I concur please take a nice, decent and restful break.



#(some address) HALT ; lets have a rest!



I think the 6502 equivalent (ish) is BRK to the Z80's HALT but it works differently as you'd likely expect. I've kept away from 6502, I looked at it many years ago and it made no sense to my mind at least I could half read Z80. Likely me as its supposed to be not that difficult!

#12256 Playing around.

Posted by Spider on 20 July 2020 - 04:32 PM

Thank you again for the updates! :thumbsup:


For anyone generally who cannot find an attachment in a topic, there is an easy way to do this:


View the forum not the topic and click on the paperclip icon to bring up a small popup (with scrollbar) containing all that topic's attachments as well as a link to the post in question if required on the right hand side of it:




Its not brilliantly styled however it "does the job" :)


For your own attachments, a few months ago I added a "My Attachments" link to the usermenu (top right) to save having to go through the user control panel to get to that page.

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#12254 Playing around.

Posted by Spider on 19 July 2020 - 04:46 PM

I think it might be a worthwhile addition when/if the game in question suits. :)

#12249 Manic Miner Random Death Bug?

Posted by Spider on 18 July 2020 - 07:14 PM

Can't get that link to load (as I write this, problem at my side) but as the original JSW and MM loaders are not protected you can MERGE them and add pokes as a new line before the USR statement.




Depending on the game loader, if the final USR statement is on say line 40, you'd add a line 35 or if its on 30 you'd add a 25. I'm picking a 5 so you don't overwrite any existing lines.


But for MM (both variants) you can simply use this crude one:


10 CLEAR 28E3


30 PRINT AT 0,0;







50 60 and 70 should be your poke lines as required.


10 Sets RamTop to a sane value to permit the code to be loaded

20 Loads in the 'loading pic'

30 Moves the print pointer back to the top of the screen out the way of the pic

40 Loads in the game code block

50 , 60 , 70 as written above !

80 Calls the game code



You therefore may be interested in this topic too > Pokes (Spectrum Version)

#12224 Playing around.

Posted by Spider on 13 July 2020 - 05:33 PM

Thanks Norman! :)


The newer modes are quite nice. I also appreciate the difference in Latern vs Candle and the fact you've applied appropriate icons to the title screen when one is chosen.


For some JSW variants we borrowed the 'Wanted: Monty Mole' candle as its was ideal, yours reminds me of that in a way even though I can clearly see its not that sprite.

#12215 Calendar for next year

Posted by Spider on 11 July 2020 - 04:56 PM

Thanks Norman! :thumbsup:


I was actually looking at what was left of (about 1/3rd) of the Sinclair Programs magazine from March 85 I purchased "back then". The charts section in particular. Both MM and JSW are listed.


(removed the duplicate topic) :)


Am attaching a pic of the relevant page of that magazine from a .pdf rather than a photograph of the sadly tatty magazine remnants:




Hopefully they won't mind and this falls under 'fair use' as its not really of any real commercial value as I see it.

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#12208 Technician Ted

Posted by Spider on 10 July 2020 - 07:49 PM

One thing perhaps worthy of mention the sequel "Tech Ted - The MegaMix" is 128K only, does feature improved music although in some instances I do prefer the beeper tune of the 48K version. Much expanded with more rooms/horrors to contend with.


Tasks are numbered! So there's little doubt in what order things need doing.


Difficulty I'd say is possibly just possibly a fraction less, but not by any real noticeable degree. To be completely fair you can at least navigate a few screens without struggling unlike the original where you more or less had to struggle with Cloakroom to get anywhere initially.



Its worth mentioning the Ted sequel here, "Costa Capers" with Ted on holiday. This is insanely difficult I think, imo I consider Ted easy in comparison! There are objects to collect / use and its not obvious what to do with what (think Ted's tasks) , there are some brilliant innovations though with sprite movement patterns changing and the like and the title screen tune is excellent for a 48K machine.

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#12201 Technician Ted

Posted by Spider on 07 July 2020 - 07:15 PM

The rooms are almost 'built' with a LOGO type of instruction.


If you make an invalid exit then you end up in "Down in the sewerage" , from which there's no escape! The room as far as I can tell only has air and fire cells defined, the yellow ink/red paper platforms are fire and the air cells are red paper. All exits from this lead back here.


T-Ted2 incidentally does not feature this room, it sadly without warning just goes to the title screen. Final word on TT2, there was 'back in the day' a large hack to add a teleporter, unfortunately (a bit like JSW2 actually!) there -is- already one present built in but it was not well known about...


Problem is on both (TT2 especially) it is not impossible or by being really silly to end up making an invalid exit. Cheats such as 'walk through walls' make this even easier!


The most memorable 'extra platforms once you progress' are a ladder added to Reception and platforms in Beaker Store, I think one appears after Task3 and one after Task5 , or vice-versa. A single poke enables them all as does another single poke to permit tasks in any order you like.


I really don't want to talk about the loader at the moment, its a bit complex! :lol: , if you wanted to know try here



OK back to the TT time concern. ;)


43191 DEFM "08:30" ( 48 , 56 , 58 , 51 , 48 )

43196 DEFM "17:00" ( 49 , 55 , 58 , 48 , 48 )


^ They are ascii as indicated, you can alter them.


The time check routine works like this:




I should point out, I did have help with this as you can guess its not my work as such aside from the 'newer' comments. Thanks Richie! :)


EDIT... There's no check as such for 24 hours so if you alter it, it will happily carry on regardless ie: 25:00 etc. Easy 'extended' time is probably to just change the game end time to 07:00 as its never going get reset down again (infinite time) or if practicality is needed then set the start time to say 6:30 (one poke) and the end time to 19:00 (one poke) , that then gives ted an extra two hours in the morning and an extra two hours in the late afternoon. :)

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#12190 Technician Ted

Posted by Spider on 07 July 2020 - 02:05 PM

The time is stored as ascii and the 'end check' is also read as "17:00" so its quite easy to modify that and/or the start time to allow the timer to progress rather than have infinite time, but allow Ted a sane deal. :)  must submit that to Tipshop actually.


The loader is very (imo) complicated, not the animated Ted's which is a work of art in itself and I think unique back then (think the baud rate is fracionally below normal too, to allow for the time needed for this) but the way the code is loaded in and decrypted, still makes my head spin just thinking about that lol :lol:



Kokotoni Wilf is worth a mention as this is a simple platform game too, more 'Manic Miner in several screens' in several 'time zones' , but although its really showing its age now unlike MM and JSW which appear timeless, it still quite good fun to play. Bear in mind there's no jump key, its replaced with 'fly' instead.

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#12188 Technician Ted

Posted by Spider on 07 July 2020 - 10:48 AM

It is a good game but far too difficult.


The tasks must be completed in the correct order (and unlike the sequel, there's not really a clue to this as such)


The platforms can be a bit iffy sometimes for instance if you jump from the starting position in Factory Gates on the leftmost ledge, its quite easy to just fall off!


I'm told that the actual time limit is exceptionally tight, leaving no room for errors.



There are a lot of good things about it though! The conveyor animation and the fact Ted walks backwards sometimes on them for instance and the multiple guardian movement paths, not forgetting the "later additions" where certain rooms gain items such as platforms and ladders once certain tasks have been completed, thus allowing further progress.


The above gripes (time limit / task order / platforms) can be fixed quite easily. I submitted pokes for the latter two to Tipshop ages ago but they are under someone else's name given they were their work, I merely converted them into pokes.


There are some very innovative touches in this that's for sure.


There's quite a lot I could write about this if wanted. :)

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#12178 Spectrum release preference

Posted by Spider on 06 July 2020 - 03:56 PM

My goodness, that is very thorough, thank you for the information. I knew something changed with the Amoebatrons. I

had it in my mind the telephones changed too, or The Bank or something, but no matter. That is top work!

Most welcome. :) I did plan a selection of differences with various parts of the game (most machines) but its not a quick job unfortunately.


For now ( as this took longer than I thought :lol: ) here are the above visual differences, apart from the missing pixel in MAD/Venta Final Barrier.


Bug Byte is left screenshot, Software Projects is right screenshot.



Title Screen

The missing pixel on the car windscreen frame on the BB version:





Processing Plant

The different item UDG graphic and the different Fire Cell UDG on the conveyor. The latter is sometimes overlooked:





The Warehouse

The different vertical guardians. The SP ones represent the Software Projects 'impossible triangle' logo:





Amoebatrons' Revenge

The different vertical guardians:





The screenshots were taken up immediate entry into each cavern by inserting a breakpoint to stop code execution immediately upon it being 'ready' as such, this way you get the first real full screen 'frame' of it all. The only 'manual tampering' with the images aside from joining two together with a 4px white border between them was to remove the teleporter boot and set all the air bars to be identical, simply for neatness's sake. :D

#12175 Spectrum release preference

Posted by Spider on 04 July 2020 - 03:12 PM

One other thing, the MAD (Mastertronic) re-release is missing a pixel on the horizontal guardian on Final Barrier. This is because the byte is missing from the tape file! :D


Apart from that and the tiny Basic loader changes (and screen changes) the SP and MAD versions are identical "code" wise. All ZX 'official' re-releases are based on the SP version however.

#12174 [File] Manic Miner - DarkLight Modification

Posted by Spider on 04 July 2020 - 12:49 PM

Thanks. :)


That's slightly more elegant than my method of changing it to calling twice  for a 'beginners/easy mode' game, and leaving it at four calls for normal/difficult. I did consider calling it five times on a hard game setting but given its not that easy anyway it would be near impossible to complete the cavern if I did that.

#12172 Spectrum release preference

Posted by Spider on 04 July 2020 - 10:02 AM

I have the SP original version of MM on my shelves here. I prefer the SP version of it just down to the JSW continuity I guess, and as

stated, there were a few changes / improvements, didn't a few sprites change? I know it will all be listed somewhere.

The code changed a bit (as well as teleport code) to allow the IF2 joystick to work properly, really this means changing it from the 'Cursor' joystick to the Interface2 standard.


Talking of code the source remnants in the BB version are replaced in the SP version with a repeating pattern of 00/FF (000,255) , bear in mind most of the code is not in quite the same place in the SP version!


Teleport code changed. Active key moved from 6 to 9 because 6 is used by the IF2 (its in theory used by cursor too but it signals "down" so its not used in MM as such)


Scrolling message changed as well as loader with attribution details. The sprite differences are not huge the main game sprite changes are:


A missing pixel in the title screen / Final Barrier in M.W's car windscreen frame is filled in. This is not a common thing to be noted!

The fire and item cells in Processing Plant are different , this is also not always noted!

The vertical guardians in Amoebatron's Revenge are different

The vertical guardians in The Warehouse are different


Code below 33902 is identical between versions (aside from char changes)

Code above 33718 is identical between versions (aside from sprite changes etc)

Code between these is either 6 , 11 or 13 (accurately it should say 6 then 13 then 11) bytes higher up


See this topic for a bit more info on the loaders if curious.


External links with more details can be found here and here if required. :thumbsup:



As an aside in other platforms, there are some screen changes too. In particular the BBC Micro version has a completely different full screen Final Barrier and no Solar Power, replaced with 'Meteor Storm' iirc. There are screenshots of all this (for most platforms) in various topics in the JSW section if curious.