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 Spectrum hardware.

DISCiPLE and Plus D (disk interfaces)

The DISCiPLE and Plus D ROMs contain the string BRUCE, which is used by the snapshot handling routine to determine which RAM bank is currently paged in. Bruce Gordon was a co-founder of Miles Gordon Technology.

Interface 1 (ROM version 2)

The Interface 1 ROM contains the string © 1983 Sinclair Research Ltd MJB. The initials are those of Martin Brennan, who was in charge of the project.

Microdrive cartridges

The Business cartridge has some unused sectors that contain the name Males (Kevin Males wrote the duplication software), the date 5/84, and the filename ABLEX-code. The Games cartridge has some unused sectors that contain the string Andrew Pennell 1984 (shown here in the Max Desktop sector editor): he also worked on the duplication software and the introductory tape.


Opus Discovery (disk interface)

One of the error messages in the Opus Discovery ROM is Don't be a wally. This is supposed to occur if a check for available channels cannot find any channel that is not already in use for a BASIC OPEN # stream (after 15 attempts), but I'm not sure whether this can ever really happen.

Spectrum 128

The programmers' initials can be found at the end of the 128K ROM: MB SB AC RG KM (for Martin Brennan, Steve Berry, Andrew Cummins, Rupert Goodwins, and Kevin Males). The earlier Spanish 128K ROM also contains programmers' initials, near the beginning: MB KM AT (the third person's identity is unknown).

Spectrum +2a and +3 (ROM version 4.0, 4.1?)

In +3 BASIC, type COPY RANDOMIZE. Press Enter and then immediately press the keys CJL together. You will see the message HELLO THERE I'M A +3 in large text with pulsing colours. (This even works on a +2a.)


From the test screen (reset the computer with Break held down), press keys AEU together and play a tape. You will see a "sound to light" effect as the audio input is converted to coloured patterns. This routine was written by Rupert Goodwins and previously published in Personal Computer News.


From the test screen, press keys QAZPLM together for the test program. This includes tests for colour, memory, sound, and the keyboard, and it is credited to RG/CL/VO: Rupert Goodwins, Cliff Lawson, and Vik Olliver.
Error 7 in the self-test program produces the message Unknown disc error. - Well done !


From the test screen, press keys B and V together to return to the opening menu.

There are two error messages that are never displayed: You should never see this and Hello there!. On a +2a, you can produce these with POKE 23610,80 and POKE 23610,81.

The temporary file used by the COPY command is called M:VAXNSUZ.$$$. Vax and Suz were Vik Olliver (one of the programmers) and his wife.

© Copyright 1996-2020 Paul Equinox Collins. 

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