Looking for Chop Up 2 game supplied with MSX 2 from Knights Computers

Door zoltari

Supporter (12)

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17-02-2011, 19:50

Ok, back in 1987 or 1988 I bought a rather beautiful Sony MSX2 (HB-F700) which I still have and still use actually...

Anyway, I bought it from Knights Computers in Aberdeen and shipped with it was some of Graham Knight's own software: demos, games machine code utility, BASIC compiler, etc...

One of the supplied demo games was called Chop Up 2 - it was a simple little game: a grid of bas relief grey squares upon which two mouse controlled cross (+) shaped 'space ships' could travel around. The ships could only travel on the lines between the grid squares, and wherever they went, a trail was left behind them; if the trail was connected to make a complete boarder round a set of squares, the grid collapsed and left a black void; if the opposing player was in that area when it collapsed, they were dead and you won!

It was like a cross between Snake and the Tron light cycle games - essentially you tried to draw a box around your opponent and they did the same to you. It was a very addictive game and although simple, I loved it.

Well, up until recently I still had this game, but, a short while ago the disk died in spectacular fashion and I lost one of my favourite games.

My question (at last - sorry) is: Does anyone have a copy of Chop Up that I can have?

It was only a BASIC game so it probably didn't feature in anyone's reality but mine; the odds of finding it are slim I know, but I thought I would ask. I did contact Mr Knight himself, and he very kindly responded but he has not got a copy either.

By the way Graham Knight is a VERY interesting chap - someone really should interview him. In his brief response to me he indicated that he is still in touch with many of the original MSX team and the has met Kay many times! He is a rather amazing resource as regards MSX.

If anyone can help me with Chop Up, or any of the other demos on the disk I killed. I would be very happy indeed!

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Van Manuel

Ascended (17935)

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19-02-2011, 09:59

Is there some overview of which software appeared from Knights Computers? I know the name from my issues of MSX Computing, but otherwise it's completely unknown outside of the UK, I think.

Interesting that you got into contact with him... What did he accomplish? Can you introduce this chap to us, non-UK MSX fans?

Van zoltari

Supporter (12)

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19-02-2011, 20:40

Hi Manuel,

The response I got from Graham Knight is below; it's only brief but gives you some idea of interesting this gentleman would be to talk to about MSX... Knights was an MSX importer; Graham wrote quite a lot of software including a rather clever BASIC compacter - it went through your BASIC listing and remove spaces - stripped out REMs - created single lines of code from multiple lines, etc. It speeded up a BASIC program by up to 40% just be doing this (it also broke quite a few programs too by being a bit aggressive).

It was the fact that Garham designed a few chips for Sharp (not MSX ones I don't think) and had met Kay that were of interest to me. Also some of the demos on the disk supplied )written in MSX 2 BASIC) were very very clever and very fast.

Hello,

I was surprised to receive your e-mail and delighted to hear your Sony MSX is still going strong. They were very well made and some of the old 8bit games still look remarkably good today.

I still meet up with the Sony people from time to time but all the original MSX team are now older, high powered executives now! They all seem to have done very well.

Kay Nishi, the man behind the concept at Ascii is still about and my business partner and I still talk about meeting him in Japan and when we visited Ascii's HQ some of the staff were sleeping at their desks - but Kay wasn't worried - they had been working for three days without going home. They were busy trying to get Microsoft's Multiplan working on MSX2. Yuji Kudo, the principal at Hudsonsoft is another MSX stalwart I still sometimes meet.

I am afraid that although I remember the game - I do not have a copy.

Sorry I can't be of further help. Keep load A with the contents of HL

Graham

Van MäSäXi

Paragon (1884)

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20-02-2011, 10:49

not COMPLETELY unknown, but maybe mostly, Manuel. Smile When I got my Toshiba HX-10 in 1987 here in Finland, in the box there was included a loose sample cassette, which had (about) five demonstration programs what you can do with your Toshiba. If you broke the programs with CTRL + STOP, among listing you can see KNIGHTS COMPUTERS somewhere and I think there was their address and phone number too. Please correct me, if I am wrong, but anyway there was some english company mentioned inside BASIC listings.

Van Hrothgar

Champion (479)

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20-02-2011, 11:59

I got my MSX2 with a demo cassette from Robtek, containing Basic software. On it was at least Snakes or Vicious Viper from Knights, a game I remember well as I was impressed that this could be made in Basic. Unfortunately the code was too complex to understand for me.

Perhaps there are more Knights games on this cassette; I could have a look. But the game description in the opening post doesn't sound familar to me so probably that one isn't on the tape.

Van Manuel

Ascended (17935)

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20-02-2011, 13:50

Ah, indeed, the well known Vicious Viper and Exploding Atoms tape seems to be:
(C) KNIGHTS COMPUTERS, 108 ROSEMOUNT PLACE, ABERDEEN, U.K. 0224 630526

See also http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFMSJhWE48I (where I had already included this info!)

It features a huge Sanyo logo, I guess it was added to the package of the Sanyo MPC-100, by Sanyo UK, to provide buyers with some starter's packs. Apparently Knights made that software for them. :)

Van Hrothgar

Champion (479)

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20-02-2011, 22:37

Manuel, do you have any indication Exploding Atoms is from Knights? The source doesn't mention it, there is however a clue that the authors were Dutch.

Van Manuel

Ascended (17935)

afbeelding van Manuel

21-02-2011, 18:03

$ strings EXPATOMS.CAS 
ATOMS 
 (C) KNIGHTS COMPUTERS, 108 ROSEMOUNT PLACE, ABERDEEN, U.K. 0224 630526

Maybe you have some modified version? The title screen also mentions it:

29 FOR C%=9 TO 12:COLOR C%:FOR F%=0 TO 8:PRESET (F%*24+22,100):
PRINT#1,MID$("COPYRIGHT",F%+1,1):NEXT F%:FOR F%=0 TO 6:PRESET(F%*24+46,135):
PRINT #1,MID$("KNIGHTS",F%+1,1):NEXT F%,C%:CLOSE#1

Van Hrothgar

Champion (479)

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21-02-2011, 18:52

The version I have on this cassette conveniently starts with line 31, and many more games do not mention an author or copyright notice.
I've read before that this collection cassette was of questionable legality. Interesting that it was simply sold / given away at respectable stores.

The two default player names in the game may even be the work of the Dutch hacker who collected the games on this tape then LOL!

Van Manuel

Ascended (17935)

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21-02-2011, 20:39

Are you sure you are using an original cassette?

Van MäSäXi

Paragon (1884)

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22-02-2011, 08:28

Interesting that it was simply sold / given away at respectable stores.

Maybe sellers had no reason to suspect anything. I guess it went like this:

Some Guy: Good morning!

Sales manager: Good morning!

Some Guy: I have made a little demo program for computers you are selling here. I am sure you are interested about it. Can I give you a demonstration on some of your computers?

Sales manager: Sure! Go ahead!

.
.
.

Sales manager: This looks very good! I would like to buy it from you. We would like to give this kind of software free with every computer we and our retailers are selling. Do you have more demonstration software like this?

Some Guy: No, just this.

Sales manager: Can you make more demonstration software like this? We can pay you for that.

Some Guy: Unfortunately I am too busy for that.

Sales manager: I see... Allright, let´s make an agreement about this software you have shown me..........