The Date........ November 1981
The Mag......... Computer & Video Games #1
The Bit......"Invaders" BASIC Program For Nascom 2

PacManTune

Before the Internet downloads, cover disks/tapes, shops, friends and any other means of obtaining software, there was one more method back in the prehistoric times - typing in a magazine listing. Programs were mostly written in BASIC - though sometimes pure machine code - and were very popular amongst data-starved enthusiasts.

The typing process was of course laborious and quite often you`d spend another hefty chunk of time trying to figure out why nothing happens, panic and compare the typed code with the listing. If you found a mistake (or three) and correcting them worked, halleluiah, you could enertain yourself with yet another version of Hangman or check some biorythms (sometimes you only had a vague notion what kinda program you`re typing, which led to even more disappointments).

Occasionally though, you`d go over the code 5 times, swore that it`s 100% identical with the magazine, and yet still be greeted by a blank screen or an error message. This meant there was a mistake in print - a truly evil occurence, in this case there was not much to do but hope they`ll publish a correction in the next issue. In fact, if you look at line 110 in the above picture, you can see two errors - yep, these are only typos in game display text, therefore code is not affected, but it does not bode well for the listing`s integrity itself.

Ah, the pitfalls of testing the waters with Issue #1... We love those watercolour Invaders though, beats CGI anytime!

And for those feeling hardcore enough, below is the entire listing - you`re welcome to have a go yourself. Wait, what`s that...lacking a working Nomad 2 hardware? No matter...

 

In the pre-Internet era, the Videogame Magazines ruled supreme as the only source of inforation available. Once a month you could pick up a copy of your favourite mag and immerse yourself in a tresure trove of gaming-related info.

The best ones - think Your Sinclair, A.C.E. or Computer Gaming World, amongst others - had inimitable style and were much more than just news/cheat code sources. The quality of writing, art and humour was quite often top notch, having much more to do with proper journalistic standards than their modern equivalents.

Here in Mag Quest section we`ll trawl through the digitized versions of these forgotten treasures, looking equally for the brilliant, the bizarre, but also the mundane, the random and the (seemingly) insignificant.

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THE QUEST SO FAR

Jan `14 - Pac Man Fever
Mar `14 - BASIC Invaders