The Grand ol’ Amiga A500
Wow, my first real computer was the Commodore Amiga A500 – Batman Pack – Competition Pro extra joystick, Philips cm8833mkII monitor hard to believe nearly 30 years have passed…..
Ok so lets take a trip in time, 1989 or there abouts, In the charts in the UK was Jive bunny and the Mastermixers had 2 songs on the rise, Madonna had Like a Prayer (major storm in a teacup there) NKOTB were massive (google NKOTB if not known…..) and my Spectrum 128k rubber key and tape deck were looking ropey – keys being picked apart and in general looked in bits. then my very best friend gets a new computer and invites me round to take a gander. A Commodore Amiga A500 – playing Barbarian (Fig 1 & 2) – sound grabs from Red Sonia with Bridget Nielson and the Austrian Oak big Arnie, graphics like nothing we have ever seen and to top it off a quick flick of the joystick and you could decapitate your opponent, bloody amazing……..
Now after seeing this i head home and take 17 hours and multiple rewinds to load a single game of California Games (fig 3) on the 128k speccy…. soooooooo not cool.
In a move I am very proud of I manage to convince my parents to get me an Amiga A500 and extras for it would help with homework………… yeah right, lots of sighs and excuses but when i awoke on xmas day i have my Amiga thanks in part to my grandparents. I got the Batman pack and played that game for hours on end (Fig 3). Epi game play and graphics, sound was amazing after i hooked up some stereo speakers, disk based games, could not fathom them speed at which games loaded. tape rewind.don’t think so, ejct and insert.. job done.
So what was the best game around, Xenon II MegaBlast, Turrican 1 & 2, Sensible soccer (hit and flick for a curve shot..) Bubble Bobble, Great Giana sisters… Nah one game done it for us, Speedball 2 – to say this was amazing did not do it justice. epic hours were spent playing this game, two teams – like soccer but it was in the hand, mad point scoring, take out the other team players with a puch or kick… amazing stuff.. so much so my mate turned the Amiga off when i caned him 400 points to 8 (not exact score but pretty dam close) Intro Video below…
This was a simpler time, only thing we had to worry about was school exams, when the next CU Amiga was out, and how we could copy games… Yeah it was easy and we had a steady supply of games all the time. Although if a game was good we went and bought it to support the dev team. While this time for me was a golden age in my youth, happily playing games with good friends and not a care in the world, would like to take a step back to that time on occasion, best I can hope for is to grab a 2nd hand mind A500 and fire the ol’ girl up for a few hours and show my kids real games and the birth of a OS that spawned Windows………..