Hidden rant by Richard Aplin buried deep within Shinobi
You've probably heard about or seen this hidden rant by Richard Aplin buried deep within the Amstrad CPC version of Shinobi, well if not, here it is, after a bit of tidying...
Ok, now all that game rubbish is out of the way, I would like to begin the customary rant, which programmers often put in their code. It is at the moment 04:04:38 on 04/06/89. It is, if you were wondering, very early on a Sunday morning, and I am sitting here in a totally empty office in the centre of Bristol, (13 Small St, if you want to pop in and say hello!) and I am in raptures at the moment listening to the utterly, ridiculously excellent album 'The Wall' by the utterly, ridiculously excellent Pink Floyd. (It's just got to the classic 'How can ye have any pudding if ye don't eat yer meat?' bit!)I am, as if you cared, Richard Aplin, Project Manager (and the person who gets to rush in at the last moment and finish/rewrite games when someone else screws them up totally and then buggers off leaving us well and truly up the proverbial creek without the proverbial wooden implement. (YES ROB! YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!) I had the misfortune to be left with the task of rewriting this from scratch! Fortunately, I have just (last week!) got a PDS development system together (as any programmer will tell you, it is the ant's elbows for writing games on) and I am sitting here typing this on my PC (with 32mb hard disk), safe in the knowledge that it will assemble all 150k of the source in the blink of an eyelid! (well, 5.2 seconds anyway) Right, enough of that rubbish, as the album has just started on 'Goodbye Blue Sky'.. another of my favourite tracks. Sing along if you know the words.... 'Oooooooooh.. Ooooooooh...D-d-d-did you see the frightened ones.. D-d-d-did you ever hear the falling bombs.. D-d-d-did you ever wonder why you had to run for shelter when the promise of a brave new world unfurled beneath the clear blue skyyyyy...' ..Ecstasy!!! Anyway, I want to get this bloody game finished before 6am, so I can get a couple of hours' kip and then go to the Commodore show in London.. But if I keep typing this it's not going to happen! Mind you, I've just done the speech for the 6128 version, and all I've got left to do is play with the map editor (runs on an Amiga) and get rid of some of the crap left on the map of mission 3, level 3. I might even try and get some memory back so I can do a high-score table... but there's little chance of that I'm afraid.. according to this excellent assembler, I've only got $74 bytes left before my code runs over the start of the sprites.. which would cause nice big crashipoos! Pity the bloody 464 is so underpowered memory-wise. Anyway, next on the agenda after this damn game is Double Dragon 1.. then Double Dragon 2! (Aaargh!) Anyway, due the the immense complexity of the Artificial Intelligence in those two, Virgin have agreed to a 6128-only game!!!! YAHOO!!(Types happily as The Wall rolls on into 'One Of My Turns') Incidentally, did you ever see my best game.. 'Fly Spy' from Mastertronic? I spent AGES on that game, and I was well chuffed with it.. pity it didn't sell that well... ('Go up to the bedroom in the suitcase on the left you'll find my favourite AXE!'-classic line by Roger Waters!) Anyway, I really AM getting bored with typing all this crap for you to read.. so I'll get on with finishing the game, and who knows? Maybe I'll carry on with this later! Bye for now!!(current time 04:27:01 on 04/06/89) .......... Okay!! Back again! It's now 08:24:03 on 04/06/89 and I'm getting a bit tired! (In case you were wondering about the strange format for the time/date: in PDS if you press CTRL and ENTER then it automatically inserts the current date/time wherever you are typing - Useless but fun!) Right! I've just finished all the alterations to the backgrounds and maps and things.. and I just exercised a bit of sadism with the ninja positioning on mission 3 level 3! (Putting in the baddies is all just a case of playing with numbers which determine what baddies start where and what they are doing. It is VERY boring, but then so would be the game if I didn't do it!) You know, It's just occurred to me that the deep freudian reason for me typing all this crap for the one or two people who will actually hack the game and happen to notice this.. the reason I'm doing it is to vent my frustration.. (cor blimeymissus!) at never being asked to do one of those daft writeups for a magazine about 'my work in progress'!! Childish and petty really.. but then that's just the kinda guy I am! If(* EGO TRIP ALERT*) you were wondering.. I'm the grand old age of 19 (20 on 6th December!Send me a prezzy!), well into music, Wimpeys, Fags (It's my ambition to be the first person to have my lungs used tocover roads when I die..... thinkabout it you slow-witted person!), Diet Coke (In this coding session alone - 3pm Sat. to now - I can see 12 empty cans lying about!), Alcohol (Oh joyous youth! When I'm older my liver will never speak to me again!) Particularly favoured brews include: Guinness, Newcastle Brown (tits oot fer th' lads!), Ruddles County, San Miguel.. in fact.. now I mention it.. I like LOADSABEER! Anyway.. on with my ego trip.. and why not? It's my keyboard and if I want to fill up your memory with text, then I will! Well, it looks very much like my pretensions to visit the Commodore (or is it commode?) show are well and truly buggered, as it's now (pauses to press CTRL and ENTER) 08:37:58 on 04/06/89.. hang on!! 08:37? Is it fuck! It's 08:50! My real-time clock is buggered! Well, serves me right for buying an Amstrad PC1512! Maybe it should be called an Unreal-time clock... Hang on a min.. I'll just assemble this junk and see how much of your ram I've ranted my way through so far.. Bugger me! 5494 bytes! Doesn't ram fly when you're having fun! Well, my Floyd Collection is exhausted for the night (i.e. I've listened to 'The Wall'(There'll be nobody home), 'Animals'(baaaahh!), 'Dark Side of the Moon'(There is no dark side of the moon.. as a matter of fact it's all dark), 'Wish you were here'(We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl), 'Atom Heart Mother'(You name it!), 'Relics' (biiiiike!), 'Final Cut'(Not that keen on that one actually... sorry Roger), and The Wall(again!) about 4 times each.. I'm exhausted for the DECADE (have to start Double-bloody-Dragon on Monday!), and the Binary Design Bristol Office Fridge is devoid of Diet Coke!! .. definitely time to call it a weekend (weekend? Ha!! I laugh in the face of having a social life! I tweak the nose of hobbies! I kick the shins of spare time! ... ohhhhhh GOD!) and time to go back to my flat and listen to some Talking Heads while drifting off to sleep at the same time as everyone else wakes up and says things like 'ohhhh god.. what DID I drink last night?' In fact, just to celebrate finishing Shinobyl (the office pet name!) I might even treat myself to having a TOASTED CHEESE SANDWICH! (if I can be bothered to make it) Oh fuck this, I'm off... Well, goodbye, I hope you like the game as much as I... enjoyed typing this text, and have a nice life. Oh, by the way, pop in and see me some time if you are passing through Bristol! Seeya, Richard 'Mad as a hatter' Aplin. Hello again! I'm BACK! It's now 17:46:40 on 05/06/89 and after having a severe sleep yesterday (and I did have that cheese sandwich!) I thought you might appreciate it a bit if I put on some 'frills' today. Well, having spend an hour squeezing a few more bytes out of the memory (I copied some code that was only used sometimes into a bit of spare space on the end of the screen ram!), I wrote you a silly little 'end of game' thing, and did a high score table. I was quite pleased with the hi-scores, as they only took just under an hour to write & debug! These were done with the aid of aural stimulation (cor blimey missus! Pt.II) from TheThe's rather nice new album 'Mind Bomb'. It's really good, but a bit more commercially minded than 'Infected' (their previous masterpiece). I had a bit of a Floyd Overdose (if that is possible!) yesterday, so it's been TheThe and Talking Heads today. Oh yes.. I also put on a cheat mode! Not a very good one, only infinite lives, but at least it's a bit of a challenge to find! What do you mean? No, of course, I'm not going to tell you what it is!! Anyway, according to a mate, the Commodore show was ok-ish, but he said there were LOADS of crackers wondering about, blatantly showing off. Well, my views of people who crack and copy games is my own business, and you probably wouldn't be interested anyway. You are most probably hacking this game to cheat, as the Amstrad scene has little piracy (am I joking?!?), and as it looks very much like this game will have no disk protection (sob!), there is nothing to crack! On the nice game front, (I'm an Amiga freak really - I've got two Amiga's, this PCI'mm typing on, a CPC464+drives, a commodore 64, and assorted other bits) Forgotten Worlds looks like a nice amiga game.. good parallax. In case you were wondering (I know you weren't!) I have done games on this, the 64, the Amiga, and I've tinkered with the ST and speccy (two very similar machines!) Well, I haven't got properly drunk for AGES (what with finishing this), so I'll just dump this code out, run off 3 copies to send to Sales Curve tomorrow, and be off, or, as Biffa Bacon (VIZ READER!) would say: 'Ga'n oot doon pub' (attempts Geordie accent and fails as miserably as southerners usually do) Bye!! Hello (again!) It's now (..wait for it!) 15:21:17 on 02/08/89.. nearly three months later! I've been slaving away on Double Dragon for a while now and Ian Mathias at Virgin has just given me the FINAL (at last) list of changes for Shinobyl. So, I'm just about to dredge through all my old code and do them. Then, I'll send it off and NEVER SEE IT AGAIN! (well, that is until I have to do the Disk & Tape masters) Quite a bit has happened since I last typed something here... I bought a Video Walkman (brilliant toy!) I've done most of Double Dragon 1 (I love having 128k and a disk drive to play with!) I went to Paris for the Bastille Day bicentenary (lots of fun but expensive) and now I've caught some nasty disease and I feel like hell. Anyway, dear ol' CPC owner, I do it all for you! Well, I'd better bugger off and do these changes or it'll never be done in time for the post. Ok.. now they're done. Andy Green from Virgin has just rung up and asked for a 1-level demo version for some magazine or other. Presumably it's for the excellent Amstrad Action, who just happen to live just down the road in Bath. Well, I don't know at the mo' whether it'll ever actually happen.. only you will know that!
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