Monday, January 13, 2020

Space Adventure by Virgin Games for the BBC Model B (Twenty Year mystery solved!)

Yes, I know. Very different post this.

I remember from my 8-bit childhood playing a game on the BBC B called "Space Adventure". It was from Virgin Games, released in 1983, and if you fancy playing it (it was pretty good for its time) then here's the cover (courtesy of the Every Game Going website) and a link at the game itself is at the bottom of the page.

Space Adventure - Virgin Games - BBC Micro
Space Adventure for the BBC B
Now this game, while fantastic for its time, has not aged as well as its contemporaries and didn't actually seem to be that big a success at the time (I might be wrong, that's just my memory). I still enjoyed it.

However, what really struck me at the time was that after you loaded the game there's a little box on the tape which says "Now listen to the other side".

The other side had some rock/ 80's music on it.

Now I had never been able to track this down as I didn't have my original cassette and every website that hosted it seemed to concentrate on the game and not even mention the music (even the link I included below - at the time of writing this - doesn't include a reference to the music).

A few days ago this changed - I suddenly had access to the tape! No instructions, just the tape (so I can't see if it included a reference to the artist). In common with other people my age (he says hopefully!) I don't own a tape player. A few minutes on Amazon revealed then you can pick up a walkman-like device which plugs into the USB port on a computer that then allows you to record tapes as if it were a microphone (it actually comes with the Audacity audio editing software - https://www.audacityteam.org/ - that I have been using for years and really like).

Of course, as I'm using a Mac it wasn't that straightforward - First off I needed an adaptor to fit the USB-A lead into the Macs USB-C slot *and* then there was some fiddling around with permissions in order to allow Audacity to record from the USB microphone (everything came out silent whatever the volume was set to). See this forum post for the solution (thank you Google!) - https://forum.audacityteam.org/viewtopic.php?t=105586

So finally I managed to record it, along with a good amount of tape hiss. I applied a bit of noise reduction and then, on the off-chance, played it into Shazam not really expecting anything to see if it could identify it. It did!

The music turns out to be this track by Steve Hillage which was remastered and re-released in 2007;



It's not *quite* the same as the original in that there seems to be some additional lyrics at the end of the track that wasn't on the original but as it was released almost a quarter-of-a-century after I think we can all allow the artist a bit of leeway when it comes to re-visiting it!

Anyway, I enjoyed puzzling this one out and thought I should share.

Here's the link to the games information;
Every Game Going - Virgin Games - Space Adventure - BBC B

And here's a photo I've taken of the original tape (I'm more than happy for people to use this image - credit would be nice but isn't essential);






1 comment:

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