P100Digitext100HOLD

DIGITISER

470

Join Mr Biffo and friends in the digitiser section

Charts 474
Violet Berlin 475

KNIGHTMARE

458

Play the Knightmare Eagle Quest adventure: To The Ice Palace of Aesandre

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FULL DIGITEXT CONTENTS 101

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Key:
To be implemented
Available

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HELP

To advance (quickly) through the pages, press right square bracket key (located near the enter key), otherwise the pages will move forward every minute

To pause a page press "h" and then again to unpause

To move to another page (like 470) just type it in

NIGHT NETWORK

From 12am till 6am the site will play easy listening music to simulate the closedown of TV from the early eighties. This was initially started by Ceefax (the BBC teletext service) but did get picked up by Teletext.

FASTTEXT

Fasttext now added. This helped to jump to pages quickly without the need to key in the numbers. Bamboozle used this to great effect - to see this key in 452.

REVEAL

To be implemented.

ABOUT

I originally wanted to write a Windows 95 simulator as a follow-on homage to LGR's DOS portion of website - http://www.lazygamereviews.com/prompt/. I figured it should work quite well with the advancement in javascript over the years and it meant that I could utilise more JS programming skills as I don't do much of that currently.

I didn't want to use jQuery as I would only be using a small portion of that code and I wanted to try and keep the site as tightly written as possible, without excessive code. I have seen another website that does use jQuery and interestingly that is based more on Ceefax rather than mine which is Teletext based. You can find the site here: http://worldofpaul.com/teletext/.

SO WHY DIGITISER?

Around 2017, Mr Biffo (Paul Rose) of Digitiser fame, surfaced back into the "limelight" and was attending retro gaming events talking about the old Digitiser days. I thought it'd be pretty cool to make an online teletext simulator using nothing but HTML, CSS and Javascript. This would be a cut down challenge from the Windows based one and so here we are.

You stand before Knightmare Castle. With you is Treguard, Master of the Quest.

"Welcome, Adventurer! Your quest will take you to the Great Northern Ice Field, a frozen realm inhabited by ferocious Polar Bears! You travel to rescue a captive maiden. I will aid you when I can: you will hear my voice at time of need. Hold to the adventurer's code:

Answer truthfully, choose wisely, use force only in direst need. And remember

Cheats never prosper!

Treguard indicates the northern trail. Pulling your cloak tightly about you, you stride into the freezing wind. Ahead you see a tall figure: it is Hordriss the Confuser, magician extraordinary.

"Imprecations! Is this the best Treguard could find? One doubts if you are wise enough for such a Quest: one will test you. Tell me, puny adventurer those who dwell in this land are known to outsiders as Eskimos. How are they more properly called?"

Hordriss shakes his head sadly.

"One's worst fears are confirmed. One must go and find another to undertake this task. Farewell, ignorant adventurer."

He turns and leaves you standing alone in the freezing wind as the snows fall more heavily around you.

You wander through the snow as it falls ever harder and harder. All paths vanish in the white torrent that swirls about you. You tire rapidly as the warmth drains from your body. After long, confused wandering you feel yourself losing consciousness and falling into the deep, soft snow.....

You have been found wanting. This time, your Quest may not succeed. But take courage. You have journeyed far and attempted that of which many only dream

Next time you set foot beyond the walls of Castle Knightmare, who knows whence your path may lead?

"Ah," says Hordriss, " an enlightened Adventurer. Remarkable! Listen then: one's foolish daughter Sidriss has been captured by Aesandre the Ice Sorceress. Her palace lies far to the North. She awaits my rescue mission and has set magic traps for me. She will not expect YOU. There is a slight chance you might get through...

"One gifts you with a spell: HEAT. You may use it only once. Good fortune!"

You set out across the ice sheet along the path Hordriss indicates. Soon he is lost behind and you can see nothing but ice and snow in every direction. The chill enters your bones and you shiver in every limb.

Then ahead you spot a small white dome: An igloo!

Do you:

The valley path is filled with snowdrifts and as you push forward you find the snow reaches your knees. The fur coat is weighed down by heavy ice. You step boldly forward onto a slab of ice. It gives way beneath you and frozen snow closes over your head...

"Oh dear," says Treguard. "Frosted Adventurer! And not a microwave in sight!"

Inside the igloo it is slightly warmer. You find a collection of objects left behind by the owner.

A sack. Opening it you find it to be full of greasy, smelly lumps of something unpleasant.

A pair of snowshoes.

A white fur coat.

Which do you take?

Wrapping the coat around you and feeling warm and snug, you step out into the snow again. Heading ever northwards, you come to a divide in the path. You may travel down the valley or along a high rocky ledge.

Which route do you take now?

You climb up above the snowy valley, across bare rock jutting through the ice. At the top of the rise you pause to look down...

And turn at a snarling sound behind you

A large polar bear is growling and forcing you back towards the edge of the ledge.

"Very tactless to go around wearing one of his relatives," whispers Treguard as you fall from the rock-face. Oh dear

Strapping the huge snowshoes onto your feet, step out into the snow again. Heading ever northwards you come to a divide in the path. You may travel down a valley or along a high rocky ledge.

Which route do you take now?

Slinging the weight of the of the sack over one shoulder, you step out into the snow again. Moving north again you come to a divide in the path. You may travel down a valley or along a high rocky ledge.

Which route do you take now?

You climb up above the snowy valley, across the rocks jutting out of the ice. At the top of the rise you pause to look down...

A hideous snarling sounds behind you.

A large polar bear is growling and forcing you back towards the edge of the ledge.

"Decide quickly," says Tregaurd. "He looks hungry."

The valley path is filled with snowdrifts and as you push forward you find the snow spilling over your snowshoes. Once or twice you feel the ice below shifting as you step onto solid-looking surfaces but moving carefully with your snowshoes you manage to make your way to the easier path beyond the valley.

You climb up above the snowy valley, across bare rock jutting through the ice. At the top of the rise you pause..

A hideous snarling sounds behind you.

A large polar bear is growling, forcing you back towards the edge of the ledge. It leaps towards you...

...and rips the sack from your back. As you hurry away Treguard whispers: "You may not like the smell - but some regard two-week old whale blubber as quite a delicacy!"

The valley path is filled with ever deeper snowdrifts and as you push forward you find the snow reaches to your knees. The heavy sack makes you sink deeper in.

As you step boldly forward onto a frozen slab it gives way beneath you and the freezing snows close over your head.....

"Oh dear," says Treguard. "Now you know how a frozen beefburger feels!"

You trip over the heavy snowshoes you are wearing as the bear pounces on you. You have a last impression of its mighty jaws, gaping wide....

"Oh dear," mutters Treguard. "Still never mind: think of it as doing your bit to preserve an endangered species."

You are temporarily refreshed, but the icy wind blows you harder from the north. Your fingers and toes go numb and your vision blurs. The icy cold extends its reach into your very lungs. It seems that you can go no further.

What do you do?

Summoning your last reserves, you push forward and suddenly the blizzard falters. Ahead of you is, miraculously revealed, the ice palace of the sorceress! Its crystal walls, carved from ice tower hundreds of feet into the air. Within, lie the captive - and the enemy!

A desperate final effort propels you to the entrance.

The spell conjures a glowing ball of red light. You step through it and an invigorating rush of warmth floods your limbs and seems to cause the blizzard to falter for a moment. Ahead of you is suddenly revealed the ice palace of the sorceress! Its walls, carved from ice, tower hundreds of feet into the air. Within, lie the captive - and the enemy

You make for the entrance.

Inside the palace, a great hall of ice stretches out before you. At the far end Aesandre stands on a high platform beneath a glittering ice-chandelier. Beside her, frozen in a block of ice is Sidriss.

"So," cries Aesandre, "That old fool Hordriss thinks he can outwit me by sending a young fool in his place. Absurd!"

She raises her hands above her head: she is casting a spell! Do you:

Tregaurd whispers in your ear: "You used your only spell outside. Do you think you can cheat the Quest?"

A bolt of magic force strikes you as you stand there dithering and blackness falls around you.

"And thus fail all who try to cheat their fate." Tregaurd adds. "Be off with you!"

Inside the palace, a great hall of ice stretches out before you. At the far end Aesandre stands on a high platform beneath a glittering ice-chandelier. Beside her, frozen in a block of ice is Sidriss.

"So," cries Aesandre, "that old fool thinks he can outwit me by sending a young fool in his place. Absurd!"

And she raises her hands above her head to cast a spell at you. What do you do?

But before you can manage a single step a bolt of mystic energy flies from Aesandre's fingertips and strikes you full upon the chest. You feel a strange tingling spread through your body...

In this arctic wasteland you cannot survive long without food. Sheltering in a frozen ice-cave you come across a ragged hermit.

"I have food - but share it only with the wise," he says. "You may eat of my bread but only if you can answer me this: The North people believe in a hammer-god.

Which day is his?"

Invoking the spell conjures a ball of red light to form in your right hand. It pulses with warmth as you look up and try to identify a target upon which to use it.

Do you aim for the:

The red sphere flies straight and true towards the evil figure of your enemy.. She deftly bats it aside, causing it to crash out through the ice wall. With a malicious grin she unleashes her own spell which strikes you full in the chest. You feel a strange tingling spread through your body...

You look down at yourself. You seem to be wearing an ill-fitting dinner jacket and baggy trousers. Then you notice that your nose seems to have got longer your arms shorter and the floor closer.

Yes, you have been turned into a PENGUIN!

"Oh dear," says Treguard. "I hope you like fish dinners...."

Your heat spell flies off above the sorceress' head but misses the chandelier. It strikes the ceiling and for a moment there is silence. Then the great sheets of ice above your head shiver and crack. You hurry for the door but before you can reach safety...

CRRRRRRRASSSSSHHHHHHH!!!!!

"Well," says Treguard, "that certainly brought the house down!"

The Sorceress blinks with surprise as the ball of HEAT flashes past her. She turns with alarm as the block the ice containing Sidriss shatters, exploding under pressure from within. The heat ball turns upon Aesandre and she abandons her attack on you to raise a hasty defence.

For a few moments you watch anxiously as the fight rages at the far end of the hall. But then the floor there melts, and with a hideous curse Aesandre sinks from view.

Sidriss conjures the ice to reform and runs towards you.

"At last one of my spells has worked! Now we must hurry from here. I doubt my magic will hold her long. Spellcasting: H.O.M.E........."

In the merest instant you are returned to Castle Knightmare. Hordriss is reunited with his daughter.

"Foolish one to risk the perils of the Ice Palace," he chides her.

"Well Done, brave traveller," says Treguard. "You have proven worthy and have achieved your Quest. You may now count yourself among the Knights of Knightmare Castle."

Written by Mike Cule. "Knightmare" is a Broadsword Production for Anglia TV

Digitext would like to thank castleteletext.com for permission in allowing this on here

Credits

Story written by Mike Cule

Original Teletext artwork by Mr Biffo

Thanks to Al for archiving the original Teletext pages. ROBOTFUZZ

Thanks to Mark from ‘Fighting Fantasy (and other gamebooks)’ for mapping it out FFAOGB

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Tier system must be clear and fair, says psychologist 301

How Leicester has struggled after 150 days of Covid restrictions 302

Diego Maradona: Thousands take to streets to pay tribute 303

Global PPE manufacturer Top Glove hit by Covid-19 outbreak 304

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Tier system must be clear and fair, says psychologist

The Scottish government has announced that people hoping to form social bubbles over the Christmas holidays will be limited to a maximum of eight people, not including children.

We spoke to the social psychologist Prof Stephen Reicher and asked him whether knowing that the restrictions will be loosened at Christmas will make people more likely to abide by them, in the meantime.

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How Leicester has struggled after 150 days of Covid restrictions

Northern Ireland will enter a circuit-breaker for a fortnight starting tomorrow. In Leicester, they know more than most about the strains of lockdown.

It’s more than 150 days since local restrictions were imposed on the city’s residents and they have been living with some form of enhanced measures ever since. And today they learned they will return to tier 3 at the end of the latest lockdown.

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Diego Maradona: Thousands take to streets to pay tribute

Tens of thousands have flooded onto the streets of Buenos Aires today to pay tribute to Diego Maradona, following his death yesterday.

Up to a million people are expected to file past his casket in Argentina’s presidential palace, as the country observes three days of national mourning. But the significance of his death far transcends football.

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Global PPE manufacturer Top Glove hit by Covid-19 outbreak

Producer: Lee Sorrell

In Malaysia, there’s been a serious outbreak of Covid-19 among workers at the world’s biggest manufacturer of medical gloves. The company, Top Glove, which supplies the NHS, was the subject of an investigation by this programme in June. We revealed shocking evidence about working and living conditions which put the migrant workforce itself at risk of infection.

Following our report, Top Glove was placed under US sanctions, but the company’s profits continued to surge as demand intensified. Now the virus has hit the very heart of the PPE global supply chain.

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Bamber Boozler poses another 12 questions. Answer using fasttext at the bottom. One wrong and you must try again.

Can you answer all 12 in one attempt?

Press RED to begin

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Sam Rockwell is 52 this month, but in what film did he play a small role as a head thug with the line: "Regular or Menthol?"

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Red:Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles


Green:Clownhouse


Yellow:The Last Exit to Brooklyn


Cyan:Strictly Business


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Super Mario World is 30 this month. Which new character is introduced?

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Red:Toadstool


Green:Bowser


Yellow:Yoshi


Cyan:Wario


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What do the initials HAL for the HAL 9000 computer mean in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey?

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Red:Hateful Artificial Lifeform


Green:Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer


Yellow:Hardware AI Language


Cyan:Highly Advanced Language


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Which board game is played with teams of players trying to identify specific words from their teammates’ drawings?

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Red:Scattegories


Green:Charades


Yellow:Pictionary


Cyan:Sketchy


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What is the chemical symbol for silver?

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Red:Ag


Green:Au


Yellow:Al


Cyan:Pb

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Bad luck!

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YOU'VE BEEN BAMBOOZLED


Do you wish to play again? If so, press red below

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In regards to beer, what does IPA stand for?

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Red:Independently Pumped Ale


Green:Independently Produced Ale


Yellow:Indian Pale Ale


Cyan:Indian Produced Ale


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What type of farm did Taylor Swift grow up on?

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Red:Ranch


Green:Flower Farm


Yellow:Micro Farm


Cyan:Christmas Tree Farm


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Who was Henry VIII's last wife?

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Red:Catherine Howard


Green:Catherine Parr


Yellow:Anne of Cleves


Cyan:Jane Seymour


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What is the lifespan of a dragonfly?

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Red:12 hours


Green:8 hours


Yellow:24 hours


Cyan:48 hours


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Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and which other film make up the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy?

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Red:Run Fatboy Run


Green:The World's End


Yellow:Paul


Cyan:Big Nothing


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Which famous boxer could "float like a butterfly" and "sting like a bee"?

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Red:Muhammad Ali


Green:Mike Tyson


Yellow:Frank Bruno


Cyan:Evander Holyfield


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What is the nickname of the character played by Morgan Freeman in Shawshank Redemption?

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Red:Blue


Green:Green


Yellow:Brown


Cyan:Red


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Well done! How many did you get right first time? Check your rating below

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----- BRITISH KNOCKOUT ------------------------------------


White: Howell, David W L
Black: Horton, Andrew P
Date: 12/01/2019


1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d6 5. a3 Bxc3 6. Qxc3 O-O 7. d3 a5 8. b3 e5 9. e3 Re8 10. Be2 Nbd7 11. Bb2 Qe7 12. O-O Nf8 13. Nd2 Ng6 14. Rae1 Bg4 15. f3 Bd7 16. f4 Bg4 17. fxe5 dxe5 18. Nf3 b6 19. h3 Bd7 20. Nd2 Bc6 21. Rf2 Bb7 22. Nf1 Rad8 23. Ng3 Bc8 24. d4 exd4 25. exd4 Qe3 26. d5 Qxc3 27. Bxc3 Ne4 28. Nxe4 Rxe4 29. Bf1 Rxe1 30. Bxe1 Re8 31. Re2 Rxe2 32. Bxe2 Ne5 33. Bg3 f6 34. Kf2 Bf5 35. Ke3 Bc2 36. b4 axb4 37. axb4 Kf7 38. Kd4 Ke7 39. Bxe5 fxe5+ 40. Kxe5 h6 41. h4 Bb1 42. g3 Bc2 43. Bf1 Bg6 44. Kd4 Kd6 45. Bd3 Bf7 46. c5+ bxc5+ 47. bxc5+ Ke7 48. Ke5 Kd7 49. g4 Ke7 50. h5 Kd7 51. Bf5+ Ke7 52. Bd3 Kd7 53. Bf5+ Ke7 54. c6 Bg8 55. Bg6 Kd8 56. Bf5 Ke7 57. Bg6 Kd8 58. d6 Bc4 59. Be4 Bb3 60. Bf3 Bc4 61. Be4 Bb3 62. Bd5 Bd1 63. Be6 Bc2 64. Bd7 Bd3 65. Kd5 Bc2 66. dxc7+ Kxc7 67. Ke6 g6 68. Kf6 gxh5 69. gxh5 Kd8 70. Kg7 Ke7 71. Kxh6 Bd1 72. Kg6 Bf3 73. h6 Kf8 74. c7 Bb7 75. h7 1-0


Results from: https://www.londonchessclassic.com/

----- BRITISH KNOCKOUT ------------------------------------


White: Adams, Michael
Black: Harvey, Marcus R
Date: 12/01/2019


1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 dxe4 5. Nxe4 Be7 6. Bxf6 gxf6 7. Qd2 a6 8. O-O-O f5 9. Nc3 b5 10. Nf3 Qd6 11. Ne5 Nd7 12. f4 Bb7 13. Rg1 Nxe5 14. fxe5 Qb6 15. g4 Rg8 16. Qf2 fxg4 17. Bg2 O-O-O 18. Bxb7+ Kxb7 19. Rxg4 Rxg4 20. Qf3+ Qc6 21. Qxg4 f5 22. exf6 Bxf6 23. Kb1 b4 24. Ne2 e5 25. d5 Rxd5 26. Rxd5 Qxd5 27. Qxb4+ Kc6 28. Qc3+ Kb7 29. Qe1 e4 30. Ng3 Be5 31. Nxe4 1/2-1/2


Results from: https://www.londonchessclassic.com/

----- BRITISH KNOCKOUT ------------------------------------


White: McShane, Luke J
Black: Clarke, Brandon G I
Date: 12/01/2019


1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 4. d4 cxd4 5. Qxd4 a6 6. Bxd7+ Bxd7 7. Nc3 e5 8. Qd3 Rc8 9. O-O h6 10. Nd2 Qc7 11. Rd1 Bg4 12. Re1 Nf6 13. Nf1 Be7 14. Qg3 g6 15. a4 Be6 16. Ne3 Qc6 17. Qf3 Kf8 18. a5 Kg7 19. Bd2 Qd7 20. Red1 h5 21. Qe2 h4 22. f3 g5 23. Na4 Qc6 24. Nb6 Rcg8 25. c4 Nh5 26. Nbd5 Nf4 27. Qf2 Bf8 28. b3 f6 29. Ng4 Bxg4 30. fxg4 h3 31. g3 Nxd5 32. exd5 Qd7 33. Qf3 Be7 34. Be3 Rc8 35. Ra2 Bd8 36. Qe4 Rf8 37. Rf1 b5 38. axb6 Qb7 39. c5 dxc5 40. Bxg5 Qxb6 41. Raf2 Qd6 42. Rf5 Be7 43. Bh6+ 1-0


Results from: https://www.londonchessclassic.com/

----- BRITISH KNOCKOUT ------------------------------------


White: Pert, Nicholas
Black: Jones, Gawain C B
Date: 12/01/2019


1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. Nc3 O-O 5. Bg5 c5 6. d5 h6 7. Bh4 d6 8. e3 Bf5 9. Nd2 g5 10. Bg3 Nbd7 11. Be2 a6 12. O-O Qb6 13. e4 Bg6 14. Rb1 e6 15. a3 Rfe8 16. b4 cxb4 17. axb4 exd5 18. Nxd5 Nxd5 19. cxd5 Bxe4 20. Nc4 Qd8 21. Bd3 Bxd3 22. Qxd3 Ne5 23. Bxe5 Bxe5 24. Nxe5 Rxe5 25. Qd4 Qe7 26. Rbc1 Re8 27. h3 Qd7 28. f4 Rf5 29. Rf2 Qe7 30. fxg5 Rxf2 31. Qxf2 hxg5 32. Kh1 Qe4 33. Qd2 Re5 34. Rd1 g4 35. Qc3 Rh5 36. Kg1 gxh3 37. Qg3+ Qg6 38. Qxg6+ fxg6 39. gxh3 Rxh3 40. Rc1 Rb3 41. Rc8+ Kf7 42. Rc7+ Kf6 43. Rxb7 Ke5 44. Ra7 Rxb4 45. Rxa6 Rf4 46. Ra5 Rd4 47. Kf2 Rxd5 48. Ra8 Kf4 49. Ra4+ Kf5 50. Ke3 g5 51. Ra8 Re5+ 52. Kf2 Kf4 53. Ra4+ Re4 54. Ra5 Rd4 55. Ke2 g4 56. Ra8 Kg3 57. Rg8 Rf4 58. Rg5 Rf6 59. Rg8 Kh3 0-1


Results from: https://www.londonchessclassic.com/

----- BRITISH KNOCKOUT ------------------------------------


White: Horton, Andrew P
Black: Howell, David W L
Date: 12/01/2019


1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 c6 3. g3 Bg4 4. Bg2 e6 5. O-O Nf6 6. b3 Nbd7 7. Bb2 Bd6 8. d4 Qb8 9. Nbd2 O-O 10. Re1 Re8 11. e4 dxe4 12. Nxe4 Nxe4 13. Rxe4 Bh5 14. Qd2 a5 15. a3 Qc7 16. Rae1 Rad8 17. Qc3 Nf6 18. R4e2 c5 19. dxc5 Bxc5 20. b4 axb4 21. axb4 Bf8 22. h3 Bxf3 23. Bxf3 b6 24. Rc1 Rc8 25. Rec2 Red8 26. c5 bxc5 27. bxc5 Nd5 28. Bxd5 Rxd5 29. c6 h5 30. h4 Rc5 31. Qe3 Rd5 32. Rd2 Qd6 33. Rxd5 Qxd5 34. Qc3 f6 35. Ba3 Rc7 36. Bxf8 Kxf8 37. Qb4+ Kf7 38. Qb6 Qd6 39. Qb5 Kg6 40. Qe2 Qd5 41. Qc2+ Kf7 42. Qc3 Kg6 43. Qc2+ Kf7 44. Qc3 Kg6 1/2-1/2


Results from: https://www.londonchessclassic.com/

----- BRITISH KNOCKOUT ------------------------------------


White: Harvey, Marcus R
Black: Adams, Michael
Date: 12/01/2019


1. Nf3 d5 2. b3 Nf6 3. Bb2 e6 4. e3 Bd6 5. c4 O-O 6. Qc2 c5 7. cxd5 exd5 8. d4 cxd4 9. Nxd4 Nc6 10. Nxc6 bxc6 11. Nd2 c5 12. Bd3 Bb7 13. O-O d4 14. e4 Ng4 15. Nf3 Qc7 16. h3 Nh2 17. Nxh2 Bxh2+ 18. Kh1 Bf4 19. Bc1 Rac8 20. Bxf4 Qxf4 21. Qc1 Qd6 22. f4 f6 23. Qc4+ Kh8 24. Rae1 Rfe8 25. Qf7 Re7 26. Qh5 Qc6 27. Rf2 Ba6 28. Qe2 Bxd3 29. Qxd3 Rce8 30. Rfe2 Qd6 31. Rf2 g6 32. Kh2 a5 33. g3 Qc6 34. Rfe2 Kg7 35. h4 h5 36. Kg1 Re6 37. Kf2 R8e7 38. Qf3 a4 39. e5 Qxf3+ 40. Kxf3 axb3 41. axb3 fxe5 42. fxe5 Rb6 43. Ke4 Rxb3 44. Kd5 Rd7+ 45. Kc6 Rbb7 46. e6 Rbc7+ 47. Kb5 Rd8 48. e7 Rb8+ 49. Kc4 Re8 50. Re4 Kf7 51. Rf1+ Kg7 52. Rfe1 Kf7 1/2-1/2


Results from: https://www.londonchessclassic.com/

----- BRITISH KNOCKOUT ------------------------------------


White: Clarke, Brandon G I
Black: McShane, Luke J
Date: 12/01/2019


1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 O-O 6. Bg5 Be7 7. O-O d6 8. Nbd2 Ng4 9. Bxe7 Nxe7 10. d4 Ng6 11. Re1 Qe7 12. Nf1 Nh4 13. Ng3 Nxf3+ 14. Qxf3 Qf6 15. Qxf6 Nxf6 16. Bc4 Re8 17. f3 Be6 18. Bxe6 Rxe6 19. d5 Ree8 20. c4 a5 21. Ne2 Kf8 22. Nc3 Ke7 23. b3 c6 24. Red1 Nd7 25. Kf2 g6 26. Ke3 h5 27. Rd2 c5 28. g3 h4 29. g4 g5 30. Kd3 Ra6 31. Nb5 Rc8 32. a3 Kd8 33. Rda2 Rca8 34. Kc3 Kc8 35. Rb1 Kd8 36. a4 1/2-1/2


Results from: https://www.londonchessclassic.com/

This week we have a new Eagle Quest game to play. A new adventure will appear here on Wednesday afternoon 29 December. Bamboozle will return in January. Press red to enter the mysterious world of Castle Knightmare...


This is an adventure game using the fast text colour buttons on certain televisions. Once you begin your adventure, you will undertake a fantastic journey. Mistakes may force you to retrace your steps - only perseverance, wit and courage will take you to the end of the Knightmare trail.

THIS IS DIGITISER ----- 471

REVIEW: MARVEL'S AVENGERS (PS4 version tested) ----- 472

THE DIGITISER FRIDAY LETTERS PAGE ----- 473

This Month in...charts ----- 474

Violet Berlin ----- 475

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Have you seen these comedy dinner shows they do? Basically, it's a sort of chicken-in-a-basket night, where actors flail around the diners pretending to be characters from classic sitcoms; Fawlty Towers, Only Fools And Horses, 'Allo 'Allo, and - Thor help us - Mrs Brown's Boys.

Familiar costumes and catchphrases appear in lieu of anything approaching actual creativity, the actors looking slightly off, but not so off as to be completely jarring - so long as you squint. It's warm and familiar, and audiences laugh out of recognition, because some people are sufficiently stupid for that to be enough. 

Anyway, that's what Marvel's Avengers kind of reminded me of. It's Marvel's Avengers: The Comedy Dinner Show. 

"Don't mention The Infinity War! I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it."

"Hahahahahahahahaha!"

Except here you have to pay extra if you want Iron Man to do that bit where he falls through the bar.

MS THE POINT


Marvel's Avengers is a game of two halves, and both of them made my fingers stink.

The first half is a single-player campaign, in which neophyte fangirl superhero Kamala Khan/Ms Marvel - possessed of the ability to distend parts of her body revoltingly - becomes a catalyst for the reformation of The Avengers.

Barring a fun little prelude in which Kamala wanders around an Avengers fan convention - a display of  obnoxious commercialism that is presented without even a dab of irony or self-awareness - the bulk of Marvel's Avengers is set five years after a disaster apparently killed Captain America, and reduced the iconic heroes to tramps/fugitives.

Ms Marvel embraces her Avengers fandom, and starts digging into the mystery of what happened - which ultimately leads to the band getting back together, and operating out of a downed SHIELD helicarrier, somewhere in Utah. 

Khan serves as a nice introduction to the world of Marvel's Avengers, as well as being an engaging and sort of adorable character in her own right. Perhaps because hasn't yet appeared on the big screen, and therefore can't be compared to a live-action equivalent, she's one of the more successful choices they've made. Contrary to much of the marketing, this is very much her game.

Plus, hats off to them for not offering up yet another take on the whole Thanos/Infinity Stones storyline. What a shame, though, that the story they have gone for is simply there to prop up a tedious grinder/looter.

In practice, you find yourself travelling the globe, fighting robots - and occasionally a bona-fide supervillain - gradually adding to your roster of characters, and selecting from them before launching into missions.

Those missions? They take a long time to arrive. The first god-knows-how-many hours of Marvel's Avengers are one big tutorial. It takes a long time for the game to really get going. Once it does, it's... well, it's almost okay, sort of. But even though there's a lot of single-player campaign here, it nevertheless feels like a bot-assisted warm-up for the multiplayer Avengers Initiative, an exercise in familiarising you with the relative strengths and weaknesses of the characters. 

The locations and enemies are repetitive - one A.I.M. base doesn't so much look like the others as have exactly the same layout. Your enjoyment will hinge upon your capacity for doing the same thing over and over again, and whether you're able to ignore the nagging feeling that a different sort of game would've better benefitted these particular characters. 

Weirdly, there's no option to play the campaign co-operatively, which means if you want to play with your special friends, the Avengers Initiative is your only recourse. 

DO A DESTINY


The Marvel's Avengers multiplayer attempts to Do A Destiny/Anthem, but with superheroes. What this means is mission after mission after mission of much the same thing, and tolerance for that sort of thing varies from person to person. Sometimes you'll be defending a location or something, but it all pretty much equates to the same ceaseless combat. 

It's a fairly uninspired grinder, and the reward for your patience is loot, which will upgrade your characters - briefly - until the next mission, wherein you pile into another wave of enemies, and find yet another new ribcage for Hulk (no... I've no idea either).

And then, for the umpteenth time, navigate the slightly confusing menu system in order to implement that loot. Daily and Weekly challenges are starting to roll out, and they've promised a ton of free content - including new characters (hello there, PS4-exclusive Spider-Man), but... what might be most alarming to many players are the microtransactions.

Each character starts off looking like a dead-eyed, background actor, version of their movie counterparts, in shop-bought cosplay, and if you want to get them looking more familiar, you will likely need to purchase - with actual money - cosmetic upgrades. In addition to costumes, you can buy whimsical emotes, which is, y'know, fine... but still leaves a nasty taste in the mouth. 

Yes: in this age when microtransactions have been deemed worse than spitting at a parson's car, Marvel's Avengers embraces them without any degree of shame. Can you get through the game without them? Well, yeah. You can. Credits can be earned to spend on stuff, and - thankfully - powering up your characters is done through the gameplay grind.

If you have the willpower, you can ignore the microtransactions entirely. What's harder to ignore, is how bland Marvel's Avengers is. How lacking in its own identity. How wrong the level designs feel. How ill-judged its entire structure is.

And, most significantly, how it suffers from game-breaking bugs, and a rubbish camera.

BUSTER MERRYFIELD


How badly busted is Marvel's Avengers? Get a load of this:

Early on, I had to guard a "node", while J.A.R.V.I.S. hacked into it or something, and waves of enemies teleported in. The first half a dozen or so times I attempted this, I got within a few percentage points of securing the "node" before failing. I couldn't understand why I kept failing - I hadn't died or anything - and then on a subsequent attempt I noticed that the enemies also had a percentage bar... and when theirs reached 100% before mine, I would fail.

Now that I knew this, I assumed I thought I could plan accordingly, except... in practice it meant that my strategy was exactly the same, because in every encounter of Marvel's Avengers you're only ever really expected to do one thing, and that thing is smash wave after wave of enemy robots. Except somehow, now that I'd noticed the enemy percentage bar, on every single subsequent attempt - bar the final one where I somehow succeed (but only after walking away from the game repeatedly, while swearing and kicking things) - the enemy percentage bar would fill up rapidly 

Sometimes it seemed to fill up even before the enemies had teleported in. Was this a bug? Some arbitrary objective I wasn't aware of? I didn't know what was going on, and I still don't know what I did differently on that final attempt.

Marvel's Avengers is full of broken stuff like this. Elements that I'm not sure are an issue of unclear design, or sheer brokenness.

My first go using the world map, I spent 10 minutes scouring the globe for the mission start icon - which was supposedly on some tundra, and marked with an "A", but couldn't find it. I switched off the game (because, of course, I couldn't even quit out of the world map). When I went back, the icon had  magically appeared, and I was able to start the mission.

Frequently, my characters would get stuck in ranged attack mode, which - in the case of Hulk - meant he would just manically rip stuff out of the ground. Not entirely out of character admittedly, but when you're being punched in the stomach by a robot, and your avatar's only response is to lob rocks at the horizon, it's an issue. 

So, whichever way you look at it... it's broken, and that's before you get into the stuff which is, unquestionably an issue of design.

CHARACTER OPTIONS


The characters, in isolation, all feel like their movie/comic counterparts. Their abilities, their move sets, even how they get around, are all faithful, though the outcome of their different attacks are largely the same.  

The problems arise when you put them together. Essentially, Black Widow - a character who, in the real world, would be able to kick anyone up the anus - is supposed to be feeble next to The Hulk. However, for the game to feel balanced, they're essentially as powerful as one another. A Hulk smash deals more or less as much damage as a Black Widow slap. Admittedly, the variety of moves between characters is great, but in the midst of battle - and again, the battles are all largely the same - there's not a great deal between them. 

Instead of structuring the single-player game to capitalise on the merits of the characters - say, giving stealth missions to Black Widow, and full-frontal assaults against enemy tanks to The Hulk - the nature of the genre they've gone for means they all need to be balanced out.

Add to this the mission arenas - big, open plan - lacking any focus, barring platformer-ish sections where you're getting from one place to another, and the nature of every mission being, basically, a chaotic brawl, results in so much of its potential becoming muddied.

That's the biggest issue with Marvel's Avengers: for a game featuring some of the most iconic characters ever created, it lacks a character of its own. It borrows from so many other games, without any real attempt to think about how best to serve these characters. Any one of them - especially Kamala Khan - would shine on their own, but by choosing to lump them all together in the way that they have, using this format of game, Marvel's Avengers feels completely wrong-headed.

It exists as a sort of halfway point between the comics and the movies, and on a couple of occasions a cutscene might even manage to capture the spirit of them. Unfortunately, whereas the recent Spider-Man and the Arkham games very much established their own tone and aesthetic, and worked hard to make you really feel like the character you were playing, Marvel's Avengers doesn't do that beyond the most basic efforts. It just wants to remind you of other things. Many other things. All bundled together and stuffed inside a box that used to contain something else.

Which has then been dropped down the stairs. 

​SCORE: 616 out of 1218

-----------------------------------------------------------

Hello! Well, it has been a while, but if you're one of my Patrons, you'll know that something I have felt was missing over the past year was a sense of the Digi community. It feels like we've all splintered off into our own greasy bubbles, and that's a real big shame. Not so long ago, we were one swollen and happy family, but then idiots started being idiots, and it ruined things a bit. No more! This Letters Page is to remind all of us that we're all still out there, all inhabitants of Digi's Nude Village, and that next year - hopefully - we'll all come together again for Digi Live 2.0. Be friends. Reach out. Make peace with those you've upset, or been upset by. Engage, and remember we're stronger together. Also: nuder together. Nuh... n... NUDES! So, the Friday Letters Page is back. It won't be every Friday, but we'll make sure we keep doing them from time to time. We'll get another one in before Christmas. I know a lot of you miss my written stuff, but after the past couple of years, where I was getting severely burnt out, I needed some time away from it (though I still write blogs on my Patreon page).

Not writing on here this year has afforded me more time to be creative in other ways. Never say never, but hopefully you've enjoyed some of the other stuff I've done over the past 12 months.The final two eps of Lost Footage were, I'd argue, something very special, and I'm very proud of how our podcast is turning out. And the Digi Halloween Special has been another highlight.For me, it has all been incredibly creatively fulfilling. So, big-ups to those who have supported it. You can too, via my Patreon. Candidly, I could do with the money, as I don't have the extra cash these days to plough back into my various creative nonsenses. One last thing. It's not much of a tribute, but this letters page is dedicated to Gaming Mill, who we sadly lost earlier this year. No, that isn't a joke. It just would feel wrong not to mention him here, as he was such a regular fixture on this page over the years, even if his letters became increasingly sporadic, as his health worsened. I can't say I knew him well, yet he was an important part of the Digi Community, and he had - one way or another - been in my orbit since the mid-00s. He was a true eccentric, and I admit... when it came to putting this page together, I felt his absence. RIP.Let's do letters! Send one in for next time: digitiser2000@gmail.com

SO

Hey, uhhh how many goats would I be worth? My pal Priti says I’m only worth one goat and I've been messed up for days over it.Boris in London

And we're off to such an excellent start.

GLAD

Honk!Bishop Firth

Yup. Here we go. Nothing has changed.

WE

Calvary Greetings Mr. BiffoI have two million tins of beans residing in my cellar account. If you send me 150 tins of peas I'll transfer your then rightfully purchased beans to you and your selected cellar account.This is a risky free transaction!!!Jon Clay, North Curry, Somerset

Jesus Christ. 

BROUGHT

I decided to write a letter to Digitiser2000 but then decided not to. Or did I? Or didn't I?elnikoman

This was such a worthwhile exercise.

THIS BACK

Hi Mr. Biffo! I’ve missed the crazy musings of other Digitiser denizens. I’m gonna have an Evercade for Xmas and was wondering what you think of it? Retro Handheld with Cartridges is certainly a novel idea, I’m just hoping they continue support for it!​Great to be back on the letters page (providing of course this makes the cut).Luke Adams

Right. Finally. Look, I'll be honest... I've heard of the Evercade, I just don't know much about it. So... uh... yeah. What do you mean when you say you're going to "have" an Evercade for Christmas? Anyway. Press reveal.

REVEAL:

LIMIT

Greetings oh Lord Biffington.I've been thinking recently about 'Original' Digi and the limitations of Teletext itself. Do you think the ridiculously small amount of text you had to work with was creatively useful? Or were you banging your head against it every day?​Have you ever thought of putting out a few special pages on Teefax?MOAR FAT SOW PLEASE!Ahem.Simon King

I've been asked this a few times, and yes... the limitations of teletext helped to a degree. It certainly ended up being responsible for a lot of Digitiser's comedic language. Whether it was creatively useful, I dunno... but it did contribute towards making Digitiser what it was. I'm glad I'm not locked into it now, is what I can say. ​As for doing special teletext pages... I did a whole week of brand new Teletext-era Digi for its 25th anniversary - on here - a couple of years ago. As for doing more...? No. Probably not. It's a pain in the arse.

BELLSTON CHECKS IN

It’s a pleasure to be able to write to the Digi Friday letters page once again. What a surreal/bloody awful year it’s been. I do hope you and yours are all doing well, all things considered - and that goes for everyone in our Digi family too.What’s struck me throughout 2020, apart from the fatal political pratfalls of our elected representatives, is just how much I need the social side of my working life. Working from home, while a godsend that’s meant I’ve been pretty sheltered from everything and have been fine physically and financially, has taken its toll in other ways - the monotony, repetitiveness and lack of social interaction do weird things to you. The way time seems to feel interminably elongated, and also somehow passing incredibly rapidly at the same time, for one.In the middle of all that, shining like a beacon in the fog, has been you and your full-spectrum media cannon. We’ve been so spoilt! Lost Footage had absurdly high production values and featured some of your strongest ever work; the storytime videos were engrossing yarns; the regular Digi vids were always loads of fun; the Halloween special was a Biffo bonanza; and you showed that your talents stretch to music production by putting out an album, for crying out loud. Hell, I’ve “even” found your Marillion podcast unmissable! To say you’ve been busy wouldn’t be doing you justice.This has all been public service output at its finest - you’re like the whimsical 21st Century Dame Vera Lynn, helping with morale and keeping us all going. Not to put pressure on you or anything! But I hope you realise just how big a part you’ve played for a lot of us in being able to cope with 2020. I know I’ve been grateful for it all.I’ve been lucky in that I’ve been able to throw myself into working on Super Page 58, too, which has kept me occupied for much of the year and proved to be a welcome distraction and focus. It’s clear how important this has been for me. Shout-out to Tim Bisley and Matt Barney for their heroic contributions and support - especially with the recent mother lode of 41 editions of recovered Digi!This has been a year where I’ve found myself getting more actively involved in the teletext community, too - I loved chatting to Dan Farrimond for the Teletext R podcast, and, as terrifying as my turn at the online Blocktober event was, I’m glad I did it. David Walford, Alistair Cree, and everyone else who was involved deserve immense credit for putting it on and running it so well.There are so many great people in this community - that’s why it really does feel like  a family, in a way that seems quite unique. Or at least it does from what I’ve seen of other online communities, anyway. We’re lucky to have it - so thanks for taking the time to reassemble the gang like this and remind ourselves of what we’ve got.Oh, and I have to mention this before I go. A funny thing happened to me this week - my mother, who is, shall we say, a rather “eccentric” person - decided to surprise me by nominating me to go on the next series of Mastermind, with Digi as my specialist subject. I didn’t know anything about this, and hadn’t ever expressed a desire to appear, apart from joking about what it would be like with Dan on Teletext R. But no, she listened to the podcast, thought I was serious, and has put me forward.Now, obviously, there is no way on earth I’m going on that show. Nope, nope, nope. It’s fun to daydream, but like a matter/antimatter collision, the chance of it happening vanishes on contact with reality. No thanks.And that got me thinking about how Digi has similarly always existed in the margins, like contact with the mainstream would make it evaporate. To your credit, you’ve often tried to sneak in references into your shows - what are some of your favourites? I remember you saying that you wanted to get Danny Boyd (Luton area) into one of them - did that ever happen?Assuming there isn’t some fundamental quantum mechanical reason why Digi can’t exist brazenly out and proud on mainstream TV, which characters from your cast of thousands do you think would work best/would you most like to get a show of their own? The Snakes had their own puppets at one point, after all...Anyway, another lengthy despatch from me again, sorry about that - though it has been 8 months since the last letters page, so I guess it kind of evens out.Hope the rest of 2020 treats everyone well, and that we can all get together in the Hatch End sun next year for Digi Live 2.0 - at last. I think we can actually dare to hope that it’ll happen now. We’ll all deserve a massive party by then, that’s for sure.Chris Bell

Bellston! Well, that was a lovely letter. And I'm happy to have been able to provide entertainment for you. It's the one silver lining of this year, that I've found myself with more time on my hands than normal, and been able to push myself into doing new things.​I am indeed still on the margins with most of my stuff - I do think Lost Footage deserves a bigger audience, as it has done terribly, even by the low viewing numbers of the Digitiser channel! But most of what I've done this year has been to entertain myself, and if other people have enjoyed it, that's a bonus, especially during this godawful time. A double bonus if they're enjoying my Marillion podcast!There's one more thing to come though - that I've wanted to do for years, and almost did as a follow-up to Found Footage - before the year is out. I shall say no more, but it'll be a Christmas week surprise, and it's in a medium/format I've never before attempted. But thank you for continuing all your hard work on Super Page 58. This has been one hell of a year for classic Digi discoveries. Danny Boyd did indeed end up in one of my shows; he was a main character in 4 O'Clock Club for a couple of years. Look it up! Characters from Digi that'd work in their own show? I dunno. I think all the Digi pantheon are kind of one-joke (if that) characters, and work in small doses. That said, if I'm allowed to choose any of my characters... I think a Yuri and Kenny Masters (from Found Footage) series could work.​Good luck with Mastermind, and keep up the excellent archiving! 

TERRIBLE HUNT

I recently watched your Halloween special and Ghost Hunt videos expecting them to be the usual brand of light-hearted poo based whimsy, possibly including the consumption of a foodstuff that would make somebody pull a face.​Instead, I found them a dangerous journey into the dark art of necromancy. I am shocked that you would find entertainment in the forbidden lore of invoking the spirits of the dead, particularly as one of the members of your group (Mr Paul Gannon) is clearly doing so for his own twisted & depraved reasons.​The entire experience left me worried that Satan may have been able to work his dark influence through the internet by me watching it, so much so that I have had to carry out an Exorcism on my dog to prevent the PRINCE OF LIES from gaining a foothold in my house. Needless to say, this was a complete success although brought me to the attention of the good folks at the RSPCA and you will be able to see the entire incident on an upcoming episode of The Dog Rescuers with Alan Davies on Channel 5.In conclusion, I hope that this entire experience can be soon put behind us and we can get back to the normal business of trying to blow yourself up with indoor fireworks or bringing back that charming Bean gentleman. No more consorting with Beelzebub and risking your eternal soul!Robert Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury (retired)

Gannon only ever does things for his own twisted and depraved reasons. Press reveal:

REVEAL:

RUBBISH

Biffo!Welcome home to the letters page, in a Peters and Lee style!With pantos going on, Princess Peach would have to be in Cinderella and also maybe a special appearance by Alfred Chicken.Twice nightly with the Krankies and the Barron Knights including Bella Emberg playing Blunderwoman.All in addition to Felix Bowness singing a song about rubbing his stomach and tapping his head going quack, quack, oink, oink during the third act and second performance of the night.In between Ryu from Street Fighter doing custard pie fire balls with Ken, with toothy comedian Don McLean in (un)able support.Taking place in the Troxy theatre, Seaton under Wold just off the A35867 SYS 2563.Its a winner!Bobby Knutts Jobbins

CANCELLED DUE TO BEING IN TIER 3.

ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT

My word, Mr B, has re-opened the buffet that is the letters page. How to proceed? Fill my plate sky high with nonsense and gorge until I vomit, or pay for a Japanese chef to romantically prepare our meal of words before us...? I'll leave that to you to judge.5 AM they would begin, swooping into the neighbourhood in their branded Dennis, emptying the dumpsters behind the retail units; then onwards until noon... removing the discarded detritus of modern society."Only one today Mrs Chippenham?" Steve yelled, as the mechanical arm upended the bin into the crusher. It was a small one, must be only about 6 years old, he thought as the contents fell into the lorry, Tutting he shouted "I shouldn't have to remind you again but, this one's still wearing its school uniform! We need them clean!"Mrs Chippenham shouted apologetically "Sorry, didn't have time after the rending this morning!"Steve smiled, shook his head and carried on to the next house."That's better Mr. Addenham, 4 nice plump children and an old lady!" they too slithered into the cavernous bowels of Dennis, filled with crushed flesh and rot....A bit dark? How's about a show tune?Biscuits, biscuits, we love them.Biscuits, biscuits, they're not just for men!Everyone can enjoy biscuits, if they have the appropriate dietary tolerance and socio-economic status to procure them...Biscuits, biscuits, they're not made of phlegm.Too odd?Ok, I'll finish with.*crash zoom*Anything can happen in the next half hour!!!! (Thunderous Stingray like, none copyright bothering music - stops abruptlyScene - 30 minutes of a man sat reading in a comfortable chair, occasionally having a small cough, stirring a cuppa and/or drinking said cuppa. A cat is sleeping soundly in a basket, making them soft booping noises that they do when they're happy and kipping.I'm terribly sorry Mr. Biffo... I appear to have showered your lovely dining room with hot sick.Dave G.

I'll be honest, I just read the beginning and end of that, so I hope you didn't say anything offensive.

PS5 OFF

I picked up my PS5 last Thursday and having established the horizontal position would actually fit my TV stand, I was good to go.Then the lengthy process of copying saves etc. from my PS4 commenced. Unbeknownst to me, the few games I had on my PS4 internal drive then defaulted to the PS5's internal storage. To wit, I ran out of space. Hurrah! Then I actually connected my external hard drive and all was tickety boo after. After playing the lovely Astro's Playroom a while, I called it a night and making sure I'd put my console in rest mode, connected my Dualsense to the front USB port to charge.The following morning, cue one almost flat controller and much bafflement from me. It transpired that the USB ports on the console don't receive power in rest mode by default. A few hours elapsed as I left my controller to charge. My controller still wasn't charged so I resorted to using a standard USB charger while I played. It seems the (my?) console powers the front USB port while the console is on, but not while in rest mode. Back ports it is. Problem solved!Almost a week later, the verdict is the controller is the star of the show here. It feels premium and the haptic feedback is revelatory, especially on the likes of WRC9 and Bugsnax. Just a shame that Grandma Turismo 7 is a little way off yet, the same with Ratchet & Clank.No buyers regret, more anticipation that devs get to grips with the features on the controller and that Astro's Playroom isn't the high watermark for the new features. Though unlike PlayStation Vita, PS5 isn't going to be quietly ignored within a couple of years by Sony.Ian Thompson

Yeah, yeah. Get you with your PS5. I don't have one, and I don't know when I'm going to be able to afford one, so yeah... I'm SO VERY SORRY to hear about your storage woes. What a terrible, terrible burden that must be for you. Press reveal for where you can go and live:

PRESS REVEAL:

SMELL IT

Dear Mr Biffozzy Bear,It's often said that smell is the most evocative of all our senses, so please pander to my whimsy and reveal the aromas that transport you back to moments in the history of Digitiser.Lots of lovey dovey doughnuts,Treacle

The classic one is the smell of sick, which there always was in one corner of the European Computer Trade Show, even when it changed venues. Also, the smell of Mr Hairs. He was always very clean. Reveal-oh:

REVEAL:

SLAB

Ok so I'm curious. If you could get into Disney and pitch a Star Wars project, What would it be? Can be a movie or series, just curious what you would pitch.Also, after the Halloween episode I googled Street Hawk expecting it to be a British show. But it's actually American? I have no recollection of it even though I remember all the other stuff like Knight Rider and Airwolf and that stuff. Any idea why that is? Seems like maybe it was more popular over there and I just thought it odd since I'm usually familiar with that sort of odd older stuff.Hope you get Slab back on the show soon,Jason Salisbury

FFS. Slab was the stand-out hit of the Halloween Special. All that work, and all anybody goes on about is the sodding slab. Dream Star Wars project...? I do fantasise about this slightly too much. In all honesty, if I was offered a Star Wars writing gig, I'm not sure I'd take it. Can you imagine if I hated it? I'd hate for Star Wars to be sullied.But! You have asked, and I think for me what The Mandalorian understands about Star Wars is its simplicity. The original movie was SO simple, and so clean and economical in story, dialogue - even action. And there was no B story! The only time it cut away from the main story was to show the Empire doing bad things, and it kept it brief. There's never a B story in The Mandalorian. Plus, it seems to revel in Star Wars' weirdness; it's quirky, and surreal, and bizarre at points - and so was the original. We forget.​But I digress. The project I'd want to work on... I mean, for me it would have to be the classic, Imperial era. I love the technology and the designs. I'd like to make a horror series about Darth Vader, where he's basically like The Terminator, hunting someone down across the galaxy. There you go. 

REVEAL:

BEAUTY

1: If you were able to license your creations to make a video game, which ones would you choose and why? It could be anything from a faux-retro Speccy title exploiting the classic chunky Teletext look, to a modern dystopian AAA affair full of danger and espionage fighting to bring down Xenoxxx.2: What's the strangest letter you've ever received from a fan, or the strangest thing a fan has ever believed about you? I'm reminding myself here of a John Peel anecdote about receiving fanmail from a listener who believed that Peel shared a flat in London with Lou Reed and Stevie Wonder3: We've seen Beautiful Boy, and at Digi Live we saw an Even More Beautiful Boy. But how much more beautiful could a Beautiful Boy get?4: Do you think you'd ever want to write and/or direct a full feature-length movie of your own, or have your experiences with the movie industry put you off that?5. Overall how do you rate the internet as a storytelling medium? Like exploiting the quirks of social media and that to create an alternate reality for the storySedric and Charlie

1. Hunh. Interesting. Similar question to Bellston's one. I still think there's scope in Goujon John, and a proper Xenoxxx game. James Interactive - who made Bumbo - was working on a Beanus game...2. The letter was one I've written about before, from a viewer who changed his name by deed poll to Dantendo, and then started sending us properly bizarre letters which had no beginning or end. And then sent us a letter covered in what we assumed was poo. The weirdest thing people have believed about me? I think some people thought the Mr Biffo on the early Digi Minis, who was scary and grumpy, because I was trying to find my on-camera comic persona - and, truthfully, not that confident  at being on camera - was what I'm really like. 3. Wait until Digi Live 2.0.... 4. Well, I wrote Pudsey The Dog The Movie, so... oh, you mean something of my own?! I dunno. Film is a really, really precarious place at the moment, and all the money is going towards streaming. If I ever direct again... I think I just want it to be my own little projects, like Found Footage or Trojan Arse Protocol. Even a low-budget movie would require so much compromise, and there would be so much resting on it... I honestly just dunno if I could be bothered. I'm happy to write and let other people direct. Unless it's one of my weird things.5. I dunno really. I suppose it could work. The way Tim Heidecker and Gregg Turkington do it as part of their On Cinema universe works well. Though when Gannon and I tried that, we obviously misjudged  as quite a lot of people thought our argument on Twitter was real, so we've both been loathe to try it again. Tellingly, I was the one who got accused of bullying, even though he gave as good as he got!

W... JUST W

I was going to ask how the day job in television writing was going. The creative arts in general are in the toilet, but apparently, there's not enough studio space to meet sudden demands for fresh streaming content.Then, I thought, if some misinformed Big Streaming Cheese offered you pots of money for Digitiser's Supernatural World, they would ruin it. Out with the jokes, in with incessant music for the hard of thinking. Cuts for commercials the moment anything interesting might happen.I say take their money, then relaunch as "Mr Biffo's Haunted Harrow".Seriously, though, if you're considering more of the same, then you, Sanja, and Other Paul should check out Bentley Priory. It's literally over the road, specifically the A409, from where you last filmed, and would be worth a visit even without the Hugh Dowding connection.He saw dead people, which in fairness, was par for the course in his most famous line of work. Also a member of the Fairy Investigation Society, apparently, by which I mean "Wikipedia says so."If that doesn't sway you, then the tea bar sells Tunnock's Teacakes!David W

I wrote quite a long post on Patreon about how the day job has been affected by this year. It has been a challenge for sure. Money has been tight, but shows are starting to film again - albeit with expensive restrictions in place. I'm worried about next year, because there's going to be a bit of a log jam of shows vying to get made, and commissions are already backing up. But we'll see. We're doing more Supernatural World for certain. Next year will hopefully see us do quite a few on-location specials, investigating the wider paranormal world. I've already been looking into UFO hotspots...For the Christmas special, we are once again venturing into the wilds of haunted Harrow for another ghost hunt - with a particularly festive twist. 

DEPRESSING

Why can't it be 2018 again? 2018 was all right, wasn't it?John Veness

It was indeed a golden year, John. We can get it back! Have a reveal-oh to cheer you up:

REVEAL:

PLAY AWAY

2020, eh? That's been a thing and a half. And the rest.I've been really lucky, that despite a lengthy furlough, I've still got a job to go back to. And as an introvert, I can even put a positive spin on it... best part of a year off, getting paid to stay away from people is almost the dream. You know, apart from everything being awful out there.But there's definitely been a 'Friday Letters Page' shaped hole in the year, and here's hoping we can all come together enough to get this going as a regular thing again. I've missed hearing from all of you, even if I was only ever an occasional contributer myself. So what have you all been playing this year?For me it's hard to argue against Animal Crossing being my GOTY. I've always been an occasional fan of the series, but I can't think of a more fitting game for times like these. A genuine chance to escape to somewhere nice and peaceful with a colourful cast of characters who aren't edgy or dark or have ulterior motives. (Apart from you Tom. You utter git). I've put in around 350 hours since March, and between playing on my own and with others, it's brought the 'nice' into a not so nice year. In terms of more 'proper' games, I need to give massive shouts out to both Hades and Yakuza : Like a Dragon, both equally joyous games in their own ways. There definitely seems to be a vague theme... this hasn't been the year for grimdark games for me. Sometimes you just need games to be fun escapism.Oh, and there's that there Digi thing on the yootoobs. That's been alright too. Let's have more of that on there, and more of us lot on here. If I can be bothered, and I'm a lazy sod, so can you lot that used to make this such a fun place to be. Until (hopefully) next week, look after yourselves and those around you. We'll get through this weird time eventually.PJ

Astonishingly, despite having more time on my hands - in theory - I've played fewer games than I would in a normal year, Duncan. Somehow, it wasn't what I needed in a pandemic. Doom Eternal I sort of gave up on, and I'm now on the verge of giving up on Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, because there's a boss I can't get past. I don't want challenges. I want to explore.

REVEAL:

PERVERT CURIOSITY

What’s your thoughts on the music of Operation Yewtree types? Is it okay to like Gary Glitter songs or R Kelly songs for example? Does music transcend the controversy or is it tainted by it?The Porridge King 

This is a stupid question. But yeah, I wouldn't listen to a Gary Glitter or R Kelly song out of choice. But then I didn't anyway. Though I did see Gary Glitter in concert once. And I also saw him walking down the road.

KNOW NOTHING

I have been writing and making videos for some time now, and I want to start building a bigger audience, and start making some sort of living from it. I have so far concentrated on having as wide a range of subjects as possible, while establishing presentation and style.However, I am very aware of William Goldman’s maxim that “in Hollywood, nobody knows anything.” Is now the time to focus on only a set few topics and genres to build that audience, adding back the rest later, or should I continue to cover whatever I like until the audience turns up?Leigh Spence

You're asking me for advice?!? The Digi channel has wholesale failed to see any growth whatsoever over the past year. In fact, it has gone in the other direction. I think there's just too much content out there now, and this year has been particularly tough for content creators, because there's so much competition, and everyone is doing more. ​I will say that my podcast was targeted to a very specific audience, and filled a gap in the market - there was no-one else doing what we're doing. It seems to be doing well on that basis, and growing steadily, but my main reason for doing it is that I knew I'd enjoy doing it.​That's the same approach we take with Digi, which is really an outlet for whatever I want to do - but it makes it harder to nail down what it is for newcomers. But... since taking that approach, and not tailoring the videos towards growing the channel, I'm enjoying doing it so much more.The downside being... the channel doesn't grow. Do what you enjoy. It's the most fulfilling thing.

REVEAL:

BOX

Hello!I'm happy to see the return of the letters page! How are you doing? Also, is the PO Box still open?I've attached a photograph of my suitcase (was with my boyfriend before lockdown started, am entitled to see him under rules anyway) because it had to be bondaged to function and it looks pretty cool.Chai

Hello, love. Thanks for the Christmas card! Somehow it got to us, even though we've closed the PO Box. You see, we were only getting stuff for Cheapshow, yet it was all coming to our house. However, we're still using the new Cheapshow address, if you do want to send us something. It is: Digitiser, PO Box 1309, Harrow, HA1 9QJ. Also, congrats on the perverted suitcase!

BOAT PEOPLE

Well what a depressing year!  I won't bore you too much with sob stories, sadly we lost out on a lot of work this year that due to it's nature was unfurloughable or compensational in anyway so it's been a bit tough but somehow we've scraped by.But it's lovely that you found time to keep us distracted and entertained with the Digitiser brand of fun!  Even the Sultana Saga (although a pain in the posterior for you) gave us a bit of a mystery supervillain, almost like an original Digi character gone rogue. Plus it gave me something to make terrible quality movies about, which I hope your other viewers have had the misfortune to witness.And congrats on the Halloween special!  I'm still getting chills from that haunting footage of a ghost stumbling up a slope in what was clearly a possession attempt.  ​It affected me so much I commissioned a piece of art from Mr.J (the wife) to commemorate the cold chill it sent down my spine, in the style of the illustrations from my favourite childhood spooky book ‘Ghosts Over Britain’ (printed in the 70’s).Can we have a reveal please?Mr.S and Mr.J(the wife)

Well, that's quite the haunting image. Poor Sanja. Press reveal to see another one:

REVEAL:

SOAK

Chock-a-Simon checking in!Ah letters page! I don't have anything to say, but I'm just going to spread out and make myself comfortable. Luxuriate. Soak in that letters pageyness. I know it doesn't make sense to have the letters page when there aren't any other updates on the site. I know it’s a lot of work. and then there's youtube comments, twitter, patreon. etc. You could just potter on new videos. Rather than trying to deal with us. So cheers Paul.I caught that new Auntie Donna show, so there's that.I thought the longer Digi Halloween episode worked very well. In my head the video version of Digi is very intense and frantic. Last year's Christmas episode being a great one with a lot of energy. So I was pleased with the Halloween one that you got the pacing right, so it fit the longer running time.​And it’s great to see people hanging out outside. which isn't happening for me. You talked about memories of being a kid. Which the whole video reminded me of. Going out on a Goonies style adventure with you friends, but where you just find a log instead. Perhaps you could wear the hood of your coat so it's like a batman cape next time? Not that I'm trying to tell you what to do. Just trying to letter it up y'know.Should I say something about the time since the last letters page? I don't want to get ranty. I'll just share this. My mission to not touch anything was undermined by the existence of the world at large. Although I no longer use coins to buy things, I still use them to press the button on pedestrian crossings. probably doesn't help. Did you know that coins can get dusty? The little pile of change by my clock got dusty.Anyway, I'm still kicking.  Thinking of you lot.Simon

I don't know if anyone's aware but the reminiscing in Supernatural World was all real - the story about the tree project and my camp were genuine! The Christmas Special might have a little more of that.

MAKER

If budget was of no concern, what kind of thing would you like to make? David Trotter

I don't really have an ambition, or a dream project, that I want to fulfil. It's whatever is interesting me in that moment. It's a bit of an issue, because my day job kind of depends on me coming up with ideas, but the stuff that really gets me excited is making silly little Digitiser things. I would've loved to have made the follow-up to Trojan Arse Protocol, but I was pretty sure we wouldn't raise enough money for it. Right now, I'm itching to make more of Digitiser's Supernatural World, and would love to do a version of it that has a proper budget to pay for a small crew, and allow us to travel a bit further afield. 

FRONT BOTTOM

Hello Mr Biffo. I have been in lockdown since April and over that time I appear to have forgotten how my Front Door works. I need to get out because the smell in here is apalling and I think the toaster is plotting against me. Can you help? CheersSteve

We have a bad smell in our house at the moment, emanating from beneath the sofa bed. It smells like a dead mouse, but we've had the whole sofa out, and we can't find where the smell is coming from. And that's a real problem, not your made-up rubbish.

MONKEY MAGIC

I wanted to send you a picture of a swan, but then I realised I don't have one. So here's a picture of a monkey picking it's nose.​Lots of love,

Zob

I mean, if this had been a picture of almost anything else, you'd be in the dog house, but as it stands, I'll let this slide.

DOOM BAR

Have you played the Doom/Doom 2 overhaul mod "Project Brutality"?It really breathes new life into the old girl without getting in the way of its perfect gameplay.Toodles

No. No, I have not played that. Press reveal to see what I have played.

PRESS REVEAL:

MORE-NER SHOP MORE-NER

​So glad letters are back. Not that I have much of particular interest to say, but glad all the same. World's still a bit weird innit, so any source of distraction is a good thing, in my book. Also good? Corner Shop Corner. More please. And more storytime. I must say though, I've been incredibly lucky to have basically not been impacted negatively by all this lockdown business. I obviously miss seeing friends and family face to face, and miss gigs and the cinema and going out to eat and so on.And it's obviously having an AWFUL effect on a lot of people and industries, both health-wise and financially, and if it all got sorted tomorrow that would be brilliant and absolutely the best case scenario. But selfishly (and not without some level of guilt for feeling this way), I'm loving working from home.Most of the stuff I enjoy doing (games, telly, etc) is right here with me, and thanks to the wonder of veeedio games (and bloody Zoom) I've been able to keep a more consistent level of contact with some people than I did when we could go to the shops without wrapping up like it was Mad Max times. I dunno.​Like I say, it's all a bit weird, and in two days time I could be back to cabin fever again, but it feels like "normal" has shifted somewhat. The world has changed, and hopefully some of it won't change back. But it'd be nice if most of it did. Maybe Santa will sort it. Or Beanus.*Dan*Probably not Beanus. 

I'm a bit weirded out that so many of you seem to love Corner Shop Corner. Obviously, we love it, because we're greedy pigs, but once again the maxim seems to be that the less effort something takes, the more popular it'll be. At least, it is for us. ​Storytime will return! Maybe over Christmas. 

TESTEE

Hello Paul and Sanya, Just wanted to say I had a covid test this week and it wasn't pleasant. But it came back negative so all good. Hope you're both doing well.Lee

That wasn't a Covid test. Press reveal to see what it was:

PRESS REVEAL:

THE 500 Qs OF WHYTE

Hello, everyone. It is good to have the letters page back for this special edition. I hope that lock-down is going as well for you and your family as can be expected.I believe sincerely that The Last of Us Part 2 is one of the great achievements in computer games design. The gameplay is brilliant - perhaps not especially innovative in that regard but it is really tight, responsive and allows for a lot more experimentation than I would have initially expected. This would be enough to make it an excellent game, but what makes it great is the characterisation and the themes it deals with. It is grim, often depressing and rarely what I'd call enjoyable to play but finally we have a game that deals with the number of deaths that games encourage us to revel in. Some say the game is overly depressing but I disagree. It is often down-beat and horrible but shouldn't it be? It really gets across just how awful life in a situation like that would be for most people - it's a necessary darkness. So many games have no issue with murder so long as we are killing the 'right' people, including Naughty Dog's own Uncharted. It is depressingly refreshing to be forced to confront the humanity of those we kill. Speaking of which, I wonder if that indirectly inspired the themes of TLOU2? It's a subject I have thought about a lot recently, especially as relentless murder is acceptable while the rare 'sexual assault' games are campaigned against vociferously.For the record, I am not saying that those sorts of games are good/acceptable, just that the difference in attitudes is strange. The storytelling choices are brave (I won't spoil them for any potential players here) and there are so many brilliant, small, touches such as Dina and Jesse slowly becoming uneasy with Ellie's choices in their diagetic dialogue. The only flaw I found with it was that it was possibly slightly long but Abbie's story was essential and equally brilliantly-told. One question I have for you regarding it is if you found it peculiar that Ellie never finds out Abbie's motivation (avoiding spoilers)? Perhaps it was because Ellie might even agree, to an extent, had she known? I could say so much about it but I won't in order to avoid clogging the letters page but I will simply say again - it is outstanding. Is it my favourite game ever?It's probably too grim for me to say that, but if you were to say it was, I doubt I'd argue. If there is a part 3, I'd like to have the story centred again on the smaller stories of individuals and their place in the world without some grand cross-country jaunt. I would however throw a little hope of a cure/wider immunity to the player perhaps in the background as an antidote to the dark reality of the cordyceps world.One more lighthearted question, which British TV programme do you feel had the highest average quality of episode? It wouldn't necessarily have to be your favourite though. While I wouldn't choose it as my favourite programme, I think every episode of Fawlty Towers is superb and is just concentrated quality.Best Wishes,John Whyte

Totally agrees about The Last of Us 2. The characterisation and storytelling are next level. Though it seems to have failed to make as much of an impact as the original, which is a big shame. I like the way it ended, because - as you say - it was a brave choice. There was no happy, slap-a-bow-on-it, see-it-from-the-other-person's-POV, cop-out. I think it was enough that we, the audience, got to understand. Astonishing, really.​Also agree with you about Fawlty Towers. There are a few British comedies I feel that way about. My obsession over the past year has been Stath Lets Flats, which is consistently laugh-out-loud, and there are very, very few comedies I actually audibly laugh at. I'm struggling to cast my mind back, but I was very impressed with Russell T Davies' A Very English Scandal. I also really loved the first few series of Being Human. 

++ PLUG ZONE ++ PLUG ZONE ++ PLUG ZONE ++

If you would like your kids to not be hit by road vehicles, Lapin Logic has you covered. With this!

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This Month in....1985 (ZX Spectrum)


1 Hypersports

2 Way of the Exploding Fist

3 Spy Hunter

4 Spy Vs Spy

5 Dun Darach

6 Shadowfire

7 Alien 8

8 Match Day

9 Nodes of Yesod

10 Knightlore


ZX Spectrum Charts taken from Crash

Others will be added when available

This Month in....1990 (Commodore 64)


1 Quattro Adventure

2 Rastan

3 Paperboy

4 Daley Thompson's Olympic Challenge

5 Pro Boxing

6 Fantasy Dizzy

7 Salamander

8 Quattro Sports

9 Shadow Warriors

10 Temple of Doom


All Charts taken from C&VG

This Month in....1995 (Megadrive)


1 FIFA Soccer '95

2 Theme Park

3 PGA Tour Golf

4 NLHPA '95

5 Rugby World Cup


Sega Charts taken from C&VG

Nintendo Charts taken from C&VG

Amiga Charts taken from Amiga Format or C&VG

This Month in....1997 (Saturn)


1 Resident Evil

2 WipEout 2097

3 King of Fighters '95

4 Jonah Lomu Rugby

5 Alien Trilogy

6 Sonic Jam

7 Manx TT

8 Die Hard Arcade

9 Saturn Bomberman

10 Dragon Force


Sega Saturn Charts from Sega Saturn Magazine, with thanks to @SegaMags

This Month in....2000 (PC)


1 F1 Grand Prix 3

2 Deus Ex

3 The Sims

4 Shogun: Total War

5 Unreal Tournament

6 Championship Manager - Season 99/00

7 C&C Tiberian Sun

8 Diablo II

9 Icewind Dale

10 Delta Force 2


N64 & PlayStation Charts taken from C&VG

PC Charts taken from PC Zone

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Fri Nov 27 08:50:03 +0000 2020

@Sdinsey1 I just saw this by chance, did a double take, and popped over to your feed to give you a wave (of nostalgia) 👋

Retweeted: 0
Liked: 1
Wed Nov 25 23:02:51 +0000 2020

RT @playliststar: Level Head by Tycho Jones added to 10 top playlists including Spotify's All New Indie, Lorem, Fresh Finds, my life is a m…

Retweeted: 1
Liked: 0
Sun Nov 22 10:23:24 +0000 2020

Real insight into the current infodemic https://t.co/yZnTUQKKhL

Retweeted: 1
Liked: 2
Wed Nov 18 22:10:17 +0000 2020

RT @EditorJanes: Tycho Jones shares new single ‘Level Head’ https://t.co/lEMuU8m47R

Retweeted: 1
Liked: 0
Tue Nov 17 13:41:12 +0000 2020

@GarethJonesTV @tycho_jones "as young musicians are creating like this, hope for the future remains." https://t.co/tivUwP0WGQ

Retweeted: 0
Liked: 5
Mon Nov 16 14:47:17 +0000 2020

RT @tycho_jones: Tycho Jones - Level Head (official video) https://t.co/HDnPZDaqHQ via @YouTube I shot this myself

Retweeted: 2
Liked: 0
Mon Nov 16 09:28:35 +0000 2020

If I could be honest ... I'd say "Level Head" by Tycho Jones has already made my day. Week. Year. #NewMusicMonday https://t.co/AbCtQT6unY

Retweeted: 0
Liked: 2
Thu Nov 12 07:13:11 +0000 2020

@ScienceNelson It has a different vibe when you see it in situ. I was surprised by scale. The figure emerges as the tip of ... a form so abstract yet organic that it’s hard to define .. and it’s this form that is main focus. Let’s go together when lockdown lite is over.

Retweeted: 0
Liked: 0
Sun Nov 01 10:29:42 +0000 2020

@TristaBytes @JohnLar27981676 💜

Retweeted: 0
Liked: 3
Sun Nov 01 10:28:46 +0000 2020

@JohnLar27981676 @TristaBytes Thanks, very kind :)

Retweeted: 0
Liked: 1
Wed Oct 28 12:22:38 +0000 2020

RT @GarethJonesTV: I’m back on your telly with @SteffanPowell & @JonesPeri this Saturday. Gwylio Sêr Y Nos. (Watching The Night Stars) A We…

Retweeted: 12
Liked: 0
Fri Oct 23 20:55:03 +0000 2020

Brilliant. Immersive. Social. I wouldn't be your friend if I kept quiet about this (and their other one, Plymouth Point). Do it. https://t.co/AMAOHAJGZJ

Retweeted: 1
Liked: 4
Fri Oct 23 20:49:43 +0000 2020

@NerdPirates @swampmotel I loved this too! Just done the sequel and it's also amazing. Blimey. shockingly good.

Retweeted: 0
Liked: 2
Sat Oct 17 10:01:51 +0000 2020

Collywobbles.

Retweeted: 0
Liked: 13
Sun Oct 04 14:34:09 +0000 2020

@NerdPirates Right back at yous x2

Retweeted: 0
Liked: 2

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