MegaFruit reborn

Here’s another blast from the past. In the early 1980s, my dad bought me a Sinclair ZX Spectrum to celebrate my passage into the teenage years.

When I got fed up with the games that you could play by copying Spectrum Basic code from the pages of a magazine (and fed up with the seek / transfer times involved), I decided it was time to learn programming. When I got fed up printing rude words for my mates using Spectrum Basic, it was time to get serious and learn Z80 assembly programming.

The outcome was a fruit machine simulator called ‘MegaFruit’ which had some revolutionary graphics and sound for its day, and also speech synthesis! MegaFruit took 7 squeeking minutes to load its 16,384 bytes of Z80 code from an audio cassette tape.

To my delight, I was able to strike a distribution deal with Thor Computer Games, who marketed and sold the game, and paid me money! Here’s the cassette sleeve artwork:

Sometime in the 1990s, my last remaining copy of the MegaFruit cassette tape was lost, I suspect as I moved my possessions around England during Uni days. I was devastated that I would never again see my creation working.

Then came Google to the rescue. I’ve been a fan of Google since their early days, and they did good. My Google Moment came in 2005, when I searched and found the website of a Spectrum addict in Russia who had been creating ROM images of games that could be interpreted by a Spectrum emulator written in Java. Before long I was playing MegaFruit again with a massive smile on my face. I even found a port of the emulator that let me play on my Smartphone.

And here it is using the excellent QAOP emulator (so named after the forward / back / left / right keys of choice back then):

Keys:

F11 = mute
PgUp/PgDn = sound volume

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