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Spectrum Easter eggs

Easter egg This page is part of an archive of Easter eggs in Sinclair Spectrum games and utilities. It includes hidden features, secret messages, and strange game behaviour.

This page deals specifically with programs by Design Design Software.

Simon Brattel writes in: "We really did used to get through a load of cheesecakes, I think because it was something easy enough for lazy bastards like us to cook."

On Lavinia's [or Lavernia's] massage parlour: "This referred to the flat I was sharing with JDG at the time. There was no actual Lavinia, but there were a couple of sisters living upstairs that we used to dream about. For some reason Sylvia lent me her copy of More Joy of Sex, which was an evil thing to do to a desperate virgin but not quite as evil as having her bloody bedroom right over mine and having a bed that squeaked. Ah, they were far too sophisticated for the likes of us, penniless students as we were. Sylvia's boyfriend had a BMW!"


Bug Blaster

There is a hidden message in the code: PLEASE NOTE THAT THE WRITER OF THIS FRONT END HAD NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH THE REST OF THE PROGRAM. IT WAS WRITTEN BY AN AMERICAN !!!!! WE DID N'T REALLY WANT TO MARKET IT, BUT WERE FORCED TO BY AN ACCIDENT, ONE F***ING BIG ACCIDENT.


Cyber Zone

There is a hidden message in the code that appears to follow on from the hidden message in Bug Blaster: HI THERE AGAIN, YET AGAIN THE WRITER OF FRONT END WISHES TO DISASSOCIATE HIMSELF FROM THE REST OF THE PROGRAM. SEE YA BUT IN ONE OF MY OWN PROGRAMS NEXT TIME


Dark Star

The program filename is BeefBurger.

The string Hello ! appears near the top of memory.

Press 6 on the Game Variants menu to select a previously invisible menu option:
Something else . . . .

There are several different high score tables. One is selected randomly each time you load the game.

There is a hidden message in the code: (c) Design Design Software Awful game concept & coding by Simon Brattel Awful pictures by J.P.Ritman and Inlay by Dave De-Leuw

If you try to print out the high score table without a printer, you will see the message:
Look sunshine ... seeing as how you aint got no scratcher attatched I don't see as how I can scratch anything !
Just as well since I can't stand the damn thing !

The password to access Spectacle, the extra program on the tape, is Everyone's a nervous wreck. One of Dark Star's high score tables refers to a Supertramp album that includes a song with these lyrics.

Certain phrases are converted to hidden messages in the high score table.
"Motty" is Neil Mottershead. Tony Bridge was a well-known adventure columnist.

astroking

SO YOU FOUND IT!!!

c&vg

C&UG Complete and Utter Garbage !

c64

Couldn't begin to do this !

cheesecake

Mott won't make 'em anymore !

crystal

Design-Design Software

defenda

So tediously ssllloowwww !

design-design

What a what a silly silly name !

fuckoff

Go and swivel !

help

"NI" "NI WOM" "PETANG"

invasionofthe

Too fast for you CRASH ?

jetsetwilly

Bug-ridden game of the decade !

joystickjim

who ?

kiethcampbell

You're a JERK Campbell etc .... !

linda

Nibble ! Nibble !

lynn

Hello lynn !

martinsmith

martinsmith

mash

ZAP !

matthewsmith

Major Wally

meb

MEH

motty

The incredible shrinking sulk !

msx

Extremely crappy JAPANESE shit !

pinback

Want yer beachball ?

ql

Quite Late ? Queue Longer ?

robin

Happy Birthday !

rommels

What a slow tedious game !

s.brattel

The real virgin programmer !

sex

Sex...don't talk to me about sex .

shit

You've typed enough in already !

spectacle

Yes we are mad aren't we ?

spectrum

Miles better than the MSX crap!

starblitz

You've got to be f.....g kidding !

t.bridge

Want yer hobbit ?

tony

Which Tony ? (^ = Tony Thing)

tonything

Hi there man

ultimate

Nice shapes shame about the game !

Entering your name for the high scores as a whole row of characters that are one pixel wide (full stop or exclamation mark) produces the message It's easier with repeat ! (Compare Invasion of the Body Snatchas, where you cannot hold down a key to repeat it.)


Forbidden Planet

Chris Cowley says, "The first copy of Forbidden Planet that I bought would sometimes stop and display a hex error number, a phone number, and a message asking me to report the bug. I phoned the number and spoke to Simon Brattel, who patiently explained he'd had loads of people phone him to report it. I got a replacement tape in the post with a little audio message tagged onto the end."

Hold down the 0 key as the game loads. When it finishes loading, you'll be treated to a hidden game of Space Invaders (later released as Silly Invaders on a Your Sinclair cover tape). Key controls are Z, X, Space, and F to finish.

screenshot

During a game, press the keys 123 together to access another hidden subgame called Whino Hunt.

screenshot

Certain phrases are converted to hidden messages in the high score table.

corwench

Nibble nibble

darkstar

" Hate it ! "

designdesign

What a what a silly silly name !

fuck

Oh yes please !

help

Help ?

laser

2mW Helium-Neon 633 nm

mon

Let go of my ears - I know my job!

pinback

Want yer mouse ?

sex

Hmmm. . . tricky !

shit

Shit somewhere else !

version

Wednesday 12:47:47 pm 27/11/85 ver 2.0

Invasion of the Body Snatchas

The program filename is CheeseCake.

There are hidden messages in the code:

Stop looking in my program ! I never wanted to be a programmer I always wanted to be a ... (a) Sex Aid (b) Lumberjack (c) Hedgehog (d) Cheese cake (e) Father
Answers on a postcard please to Simon Brattel & Neil Mottershead
This program is copyright ( but not by us )
ANNOUNCEMENT This space has been rented by the Design-Design marriage guidance bureau . TWO aging depressed (depressing) programmers { soon to be certified } seek female company with a view to establishing an extremely verbose relationship . Translation :- 'Love amongst the cheese cakes' (Fruit cakes) END OF ANNOUNCEMENT
PS Lavernia's massage parlour has moved to 125 Smedley Rd Cheetham Hill LN / Tel. 061 205 6603 and ask for Joe
PSS This game owes its existance to :- (53) 2-Litre coke bottles (6) Greens Original Cheese Cakes (24) Very hot curries (4) 600 K floppy discs (100000) Neurons (1) Another Greens Original (4) 1/2 pint glasses (98) kWh of t'electric (2*4*10^6*60*60*10*49) T-States and finally (980) misery filled hours of wasted effort.
PSSS We appologise for the awful noises They weren't our idea
PSSSS Coming soon (we hope) THE LOADER ... and so off they go into the dawn ... ... pausing only to reconstruct the Nascam ... ... reinvent the keyboard ... ... resubmit the cheques ... ... think of the next line ... But the cheese cake has arrived and so I must go . 10-4 (aaaaaaargh !)
"Is that the sort of thing you're after ?" "Yes I think we can use that."

Certain phrases are converted to hidden messages in the high score table.

(blank)

Someone

6031769

Wrong game ! [referring to a cheat code in Manic Miner]

6502

Crappy processor

alanw

A.Walker [friend]

andym

A.Machin [friend and LERM author]

blach

Bells ring etc .

c.c.c.

Chrisipoos [Christopher Charles Clark, Crystal Computing founder; "I'm not sure if we were getting on well at this point; a bunch of us were about to stage a revolution and set up Design Design"]

cheese

Cheese ? [referring to early code where these messages were accessed with cheese+number]

cheesecake

Greens Original

chewrubba

The Thing

speakertoanimals

Chmee [Ringworld reference]

crystal

Design Design Software

darthvader

Boring tit !

dave

The cardboard box ! [Jasper Carrott sketch, used to tease Neil's friend Dave]

fuck

Like too ! [sic]

hott

Halls

jdg

Hi Jim ! [flatmate James Garside]

johnl

J.Lawrence [friend]

kickaha

P.J.Finnegan [World of Tiers reference]

krdt

K.R.D.Terry [friend Keith Terry]

lavinia

She's moved to 061-205-6603

maria

Programmers in general eh ? ["I once asked her at a party if she was interested in Martin or just programmers in general. She said programmers in general, but she was only trying to fend off my drunken advances."]

marvin

Life don't ....

mash

Smart arse [Martin Horsley]

meb

Hello Maria ["Martin Horsley's girlfriend. Neil and I lusted after her as well."]

motty

N.Pottingshed

rozzer

R.Walker [Rosalind Walker, "Alan's beautiful sister"]

sex

Yes please !

spectrum

Ghastly rubber thing

tony

A blaze of trumpets & singing angels [phrase from a favourable review]

whatisthe

42 of course ! [i.e. what is the meaning of life?]

xyzzy

Wrong game ! [referring to a cheat code in Adventure]

zaphod

It's easier with three arms I suppose

Entering your name for the high scores as a whole row of characters that are one pixel wide (full stop or exclamation mark) produces the message Bet yer wrists hurt after that ! (Compare Dark Star.)


On the Run

There is a hidden message in the code: Hello.

Rogue Trooper

Robert Baker says, "Several months ago, instead of the standard Welcome to Nu-Earth, Rogue! message, I got the same message in Welsh: Croeso i Earth newydd spon!. I don't know what causes this version of the message to display, but it's stored at address 43675, just after the standard welcome message at 43638."

screenshot


Rommel's Revenge

There are hidden messages in the code: Hello; (The Thing); Hello Simon, having fun? (programmer Simon Brattel); Nazir's vindaloo curry sauces are great.

When you get a high score, you are told: "You have beaten name by amount". The name placeholder is initially set to Snoopy.


The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

There are hidden messages in the code:

Lavinia's Massage Parlour:Tel(061) 223-3519
I Had A Little Froggy
Yes c*nt - a keyboard table!
F*ck Off !

Certain phrases are converted to hidden messages in the high score table.

(blank)

Someone

(c)

(c) N.Mottershead & S.Brattel

6031769

Wrong game ! [referring to a cheat code in Manic Miner]

crystal

Design Design Software

fuck

Strange thing to type !

n.mottershead

Oh god knows !

s.brattel

It's a fair cop !

sex

Still waiting !

shit

Shit somewhere else !

t.bridge

Not enough Hobbits I suppose ?

thehobbit

The only game more tedious than this

warlock

Ian Livingstone I presume

The text At it again I see ! (i.e. hacking) appears just before the above strings in memory.

When you pause the game by pressing 2, the message Pausing - press C to continue is eventually replaced by various other messages:

C,short for CONTINUE
When you're quite ready
4th along,bottom row
Hello ?
Gone for a cheesecake ?
Oh not again
No not again
Please not again
The next one's good !

There is some more hidden text further on in memory, including a few Monty Python references:

PS we apologise for the game being boring but we were literaly only given 3 weeks to write it .
PPS Return of the Things !
coming soon - the follow up to Halls
The programme about which will be said :-
"Oh no not again" Sinclair User
and
"I'll get them for this" GOD
and finally
"..sod 30% what about a wench ?.." The Authors
" one thats nice "
" not too nice "
" with huge .... tracts of land "
" and not too expensive "
PSSP See you in the next game !
Try not to take life seriously or you'll go as far as have .....
Virgin,22 years old,lonely,suicidal and mad .
(interesting order they're in huh ?)
PSSPS It's goodnight from me
and It's goodnight from another unoriginal joke
(c) S.Brattel and the one and only N.Mottershead
(Chewrubba and Mottly)
(The Blue Brothers)

Zeus Z80 Assembler

Type What is the meaning of life ? for the answer 42 (a reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy).

If you type the same question after assembling a source file whose first line is IY, you get the following hidden message instead (stored from 61757 to 61857, each byte XORed with decimal 15), also a Hitchhiker's Guide reference.

Do I look like Deep thought ? Zeus (c) 3/ 2/83 S.Brattel & N.Mottershead All rights reserved

Simon Brattel says, "We put that there as a way to include our names and the copyright information, knowing that Chris Clark (managing director of Crystal) would remove it if he found it."

screenshot

© Copyright 1996-2017 Paul Equinox Collins. 

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