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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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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Gary Oldman celebrates his birthday this month, but which Hannibal Lector film did he appear in?

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Red:Hannibal


Green:The Silence of the Lambs


Yellow:Red Dragon


Cyan:Manhunter


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In this month in 1981, which British computer made its debut?

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Red:ZX80


Green:ZX81


Yellow:Acorn Atom


Cyan:Dragon 32


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In which country is the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis?

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Red:Wales


Green:Ireland


Yellow:England


Cyan:Scotland


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Thief 2 is 20 years old this month, but who is the antagonist?

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Red:The Trickster


Green:Viktoria


Yellow:Karas


Cyan:Constantine


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Which is the odd one out of these films starring Sean Bean:

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Red:GoldenEye


Green:Equilibrium


Yellow:Patriot Games


Cyan:National Treasure

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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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What word completes these game titles: ______ of the Beast. ______ Warriors. ______ Dancer.

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Red:Shadow


Green:Night


Yellow:Dark


Cyan:Sound


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The Bahamas is made up of over how many islands?

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Red:200


Green:800


Yellow:700


Cyan:500


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Leodis was the Roman name for which modern city?

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Red:London


Green:Leicester


Yellow:Leigh


Cyan:Leeds


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What more common name is the Yam known in the UK?

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Red:Carrot


Green:Sweet Potato


Yellow:Turnip


Cyan:Swede


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Actress Mila Kunis was born in which country?

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Red:USA


Green:Russia


Yellow:Latvia


Cyan:Ukraine


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Which chocolate bar helps you 'Work, Rest and Play'?

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Red:Mars


Green:Snickers


Yellow:Crunchie


Cyan:Caramel


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In which country did the sport of Badminton originate?

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Red:France


Green:England


Yellow:Germany


Cyan:Spain


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

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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.

THE DIGITISER FRIDAY lockdown PAGE ----- 471

HOW THE CORONAVIRUS IS AFFECTING US ----- 472

THE DIGITISER FRIDAY LETTERS PAGE ----- 473

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

Violet Berlin ----- 475

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A massive thank you to everyone who has backed me on Patreon in the last couple of days. With everything going on, I hadn't expected that at all, but having received the news that one of the kids' shows I was working on has now shut down... it is really going to help get me through the next few months, and I'll keep the backer exclusives coming.Some of you have asked if I have a Ko-Fi account. I didn't... but I do now!If you want to buy me a coffee or three (though let's face it, the money will probably go on barbed wire, animal skulls and spiked shoulder pads), you can do so here: BUY MR BIFFO A KO-FI THAT HE CAN SPEND ON BULK-BUYING TOILET PAPER.

You might've noticed I've been upping my creative output a bit over the past week on Twitter and our Instagram page (generally run by Sanja). We've an new IGTV series on there which we're calling Mr Biffo's Found Footage, which isolates the cutaways from the Digitiser Deluxe eps. There might even be some extra little bits that don't fit onto YouTube.Please follow and share them if you can. And likewise, please share the stuff from the YouTube channel to anyone who might need a chuckle in this era of isolation. We've plenty more coming your way in the weeks and months to come.Stay safe out there, stay indoors as much as you can, and don't go mental in the supermarket.We'll try to keep up with regular Friday Letters Pages for the duration of this nonsense, so keep sending your emails to this place here: digitiser2000@gmail.com

BEANUS CART

I hope you enjoy this little Beanus cartridge I created.​You might get a bit of a kick out of it... or think it's a total piece of toss! Either way here it is!Thank you for all the laughs and cheering me up whilst depression tries to sausage ram me from behind. Many Thanks! 

Connor

I'm very sorry to hear about the depression sausage. And thank you for the excellent pixel art. Beanus will return to us in this time of dire need very soon... He's been self-isolating in his Beanvault since Christmas.

JC PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

Hello!I very very much enjoyed the death quiz. Are there plans for more Digi Deluxe filming seshes in future? Are there plans to have Chris JC back on in future? Both are very lovely things :)Hope you've had a lovely week!Chai

I know you sent this a few weeks ago - sorry, Chai, haven't had time to do a letters page - but with world events moving so fast... it's probably unlikely we're going to be able to do any filming outside of home for at least a little while.But...! Yeah, of course - we're definitely going to do more Digi Deluxes as soon as we're able. Even though we get loads of moans about the lighting, and I had some sound issues. It was an experiment really, but we ended up filming more than we'd expected, so it became its own little series.In the short term, we'll hopefully be back in front of The Blue Wall soon, but the types of videos we'll be doing will be influenced by what we learned doing the Deluxe eps. I like them having more structure, because it lets me dick around with it in the edit - hence all the Found Footage-y reveal-o-inserts that are appearing in them. Plus, as some people will have noticed, a few classic Digi-era characters are now popping up (Doctor Derek Doctors this week... another old favourite next week).Also, Sanja and I will, beginning hopefully today or over the weekend, sit down and record some rough-and-ready isolation vlogs for you. Oddly, Marillion put out a message to their fans yesterday, and I found it strangely comforting. So, hoping to kind of be there for the Digi massive through all this,Also, also: thanks for liking the Death Quiz. That's been the least popular of the Digi Deluxe eps, even though it took aaaages to do that animated bit. And I'm sure Chris JC will be back, because we all love him. 

PANEL BEATER

I'm currently assembling the retro gamers developers panel for Chunky Fringe. At the moment, my possible guest list is all guys. Not that it really matters, but I'd hate to exclude anyone from the Digi community who would love to share their experience or relive their trauma.So, would all such persons kindly get in touch soon, via the email address on the Chunky Fringe page. We did consider asking Brenda Romero, but then we would have to explain the whole turts/scalping incident from Block Party 2016.David W

Another letter that has now been overtaken by events - Chunky Fringe, as with Digitiser Live, will be postponed until we can find a new date with the Arts Centre. But if you are a not-a-guy, please drop us or David a line, so he can potentially include you as and when Chunky Fringe happens.But wait - there's another letter from David a bit further down! 

TASTELESS JOKES

Having been involved in comedy writing for many years, have you ever written or performed a joke that went out that you subsequently regretted, either that you'd gone too far, been unjustifiably offensive or felt uneasy afterwards? If so, how did this inform your writing as you progressed in your career. No need to detail the specific example, it's the process I find most interesting.In your time as a writer, what is the best idea for a TV programme/film, that you saw, that wasn't picked up? Is it something that you feel you could have worked with?John Whyte

Yeah, it does happen. It's kind of part and parcel of the free association that comes with looking for the funny. Even in kids TV, the writers rooms can occasionally get quite dark and tasteless...I've got a pretty well-attuned radar for stuff these days, though, because I am a #GoodBoy. Back in Digi's Teletext era, I know there were things we wrote that I'd be uncomfortable putting my name to now. Fortunately, we generally erred on the side of weird, rather than edgy.​I actually got quite embarrassed by something I blurted out when we were filming the Death Quiz episode of Digi Deluxe. It was a combination of two words that very much could've been construed as homophobic - wasn't intended that way at all, and I immediately screeched "NO!", and obviously edited it out of the ep - but I was still embarrassed.Oh, and I gave a disastrous best man's speech years ago, which turned into a nightmare. I'd put together a Powerpoint presentation of photos of my mate in seemingly compromising positions. ​Unfortunately, he'd bigged up my speech to land me in it, and as I got up to deliver it, I leant on my laptop and it started shutting down. It took what felt like a week to reboot, during which time I said something that went down like a lead balloon, and the reaction made me realise that I'd misjudged the entirety of the rest of the speech. I had to hurry through it, editing it on the fly. I woke up at about 2am that night having anxiety-induced flashbacks. It was horrible.  

THE LONE REARRANGER

"Our show isn't happening until the end of July, so for now we're working on the basis that it's going ahead. I know many of you have booked hotels, train, and - in some cases - plane tickets, so we won't reschedule unless we absolutely have to. We all obviously have to remain flexible as the situation evolves, and follow any government guidelines as and when they might arise."That's all fine. We respect your decisions, as a God of Gaming, and kowtow to your demands. Will there be free sandwiches at the event/rearranged event? I feel it should involve sandwiches and/or digestive biscuits in some manner. If not that, then just have a bucket of gin at the entrance we can all scoop our hands into. I used to work at Wetherspoons (in 2008) and know all about health, hygiene, and drunken individuals pelting champagne bottles at me. So this is a sound event strategy. Best regards, Mr. Morris

Free sandwiches!?? FREE?!? No, but as and when it happens I'll be lobbing fistfuls of baked beans into the audience.

FAT SAL

How about having Paul do the voice of Fat Sow but he does an impression of Eli?Cheers,Jordan

That's not actually a bad idea... though whenever he's doing his Eli impression he's basically just being the voice of Fat Sow.

SANDWICH OF DOOM

So with Doom, Doom 2, Final Doom, Doom 64, Doom 3, Doom (2016) and now Doom Eternal available my question is this, what are your favourite biscuits?Ginger Nuts

I'm not big into biscuits, and never have been. I've spoken before about my love of the now unavailable Banoffeepops. I also quite like a Garibaldi and a fig roll. Not too many though, unless you wish for loose "stools".

OVERACHIEVER

A few years back I got all the Steam Achievements on Half Life 2 (about 10 years after it came out) and do you think humanity is shutting down now because basically everything's been done?It's a thought.McCow 

They should try turning it off and on again.

THE HOARD

In these uncertain times we could simply scream in despair or perhaps hoard food that will go off in three days, while sitting huddled close to a loving family member in your makeshift bomb shelter.I personally prefer to think positively by reminding myself that I'm not Noel Edmonds. Yours,Lee McCormick

Why are people buying fresh fruit and veg in such quantities?! Are they going to use lettuce leaves as toilet paper, or something? 

WOMBLING NOT FREE BUT IN ISOLATION

Dearest Humans,These are troubling times. I had a dream Orinocho from the Wombles was eating a grapefruit and Emu was eating a kiwi whilst Rod Hull looked on bored.I used to have dreams about the Krankies as well when I was younger, usually being chased by Ian, little Jimmy looking on.I never understood people who thought Dooby Duck was scary. I'd really like to watch some episodes of that right now.I'm worried about the next few days and weeks and I know it is OK to worry. this is something new and new is scary. People should also know that support is out there and I know its tough to access it especially for the first time. But people want to help, talk and connect and I want more people to dream about Emu eating a kiwi fruit.Let's have hope and rely on that one thing. A hatred of Amiga owners.Love and strength,Steph is real tired of this x

Given what we know about the Krankies' private lives - by their own admission - I think your dream scenario might well have played out in real life on more than one occasion. But anyhow... yeah, it's okay to be worried. You can't just switch off your feelings, and if ever there was a time to be anxious... this is kind of it. It's usually best to feel them, acknowledge them, but try to also see them as a kind of outside observer. That's my technique anyway.

TEDDY BOY

I don't know.I wrote a huge long piece all about the magical teddy picker that allocates which souls are to enter newborn babies. Then how a cat, who had finally reached self awareness at age 21, and shortly afterwards died of a broken heart as it realised it couldn't enact anything due to being unable to effectively communicate, lodged a complaint to run the teddy picker since God was species-ist.There was a tribunal where God argued he didn't have to answer to anybody as he had the keys to the teddy picker and wasn't going to change the rules to suit the situation. Since nobody could judge him, life carried on as normal with all its flaws and foibles.It essentially ended up with a simple message from the wide-eyed cat. Live life with love, and don't sh*t in flower beds!There then followed a 1980s He-man-esque hands on hips laughing session, before an arrogant human leans forward and with 3 frames of repeated mouth animation suggests: "You mean leave the planet a better place than when you found it..."The cat shrugged and huffs "My words were better!"BTW, HM government should provide a kitchen door sized lockdown calendar. Like an advent calendar, but each door is made of enough T-paper to achieve a clean sheen. Behind each door is something like hand gel, valium, prophylactic, next month's rent... These are strange times, but stick to good humanity. Help others, be strong, and when we emerge out of the other side, we'll hopefully be in a better place as a species, having had a stark reminder of our biology and our good and bad nature.Hard times forge strong people and all that.Take care Paul and all.Dave Graves

I had to look up what a 'teddy picker' was. It's a claw machine, yes? And that was the edited version of your huge long piece, yes? I think I speak for us all when I say we get the general idea.Anyway. Yeah, thanks, Dave. We'll get through this. Though I'm not sure how reassured I feel about it coming from somebody with the name "Dave Graves"...

ACTION FIGURES

Dear Mr Biffophant,If you could choose six characters from the Digi / Found Footage universe to make in to classic 3.75 inch action figures which would you choose and what accessories would they come with? Love and socially distanced kissy kissy,Treacle Truffle

SIX characters!??! Why so many? The Man's Daddy is the obvious one. Goujon John (with goujon accessories), Fat Sow, Zombie Dave, The Man, and a bum-faced zombie from Trojan Arse Protocol. There you go. Also, buy all six and you get to build a Handsome Crab.

LIVE ALIVE... OH...

Just wanted to write regarding Digitiser Live. I know it’s a frightening time, however for some of us the light at the end of the tunnel will be this show. I know health and safety will always come first, however we are still over 4 months away from it. Please do not cancel it prematurely unless you absolutely have to :(Kind regards,Oliver MorganPS I love the Digitiser Deluxe format!

Unfortunately, as you may have read yesterday, we do have to postpone the show. We were holding out hope, but the Arts Centre got in touch to say they're closing for the foreseeable future. We were offered the opportunity to cancel, but I know how much Digi Live means to people - so we're working with them on finding an alternative date. I really, really hope it'll be this year, but with things as they are we just can't say.​However, I'm considering doing some sort of epic live stream on the date Digi Live was meant to happen - maybe a live episode of Digitiser Deluxe, like a telethon. That might be fun. Watch this space. 

TURNER THE OF-EVENTS

Well, that was an unexpected turn of events. We are still looking for retro game developers to join the Chunky Fringe panel, though with the caveat that the date and location are now subject to Digitiser Live being rescheduled. On which topic, the physical gathering for Block Party is almost certainly going to be postponed, but the art contest, to be announced shortly, will proceed.Keep doing the vids and things. I'm hoping for Biffovision Live, three hours streamed from your house with no particular plans, but will settle for a series of loo roll alternatives being put to the test (use both sides of the paper if necessary).David W

Hah! Here's David again, following up his previous email. Great minds - yeah, I'd love to see if we can do a kind of real-time Saturday Morning kids' TV-type live thing. I might make that my big project, now that we don't know when Digi Live is happening. Also, once again thank you for putting on Chunky Fringe for people. I think we're all going to need a party after this...

DON'T PANIC!

Hello, I hope that you are well. The video you posted on Twitter about panic buying was entertaining. It also made me think that people will be (understandably) be worried about the situation not improving.Obviously you didn't ask, and it's not my business, but just in case any of you or your family were genuinely worried about this, try not to be. My youngest brother works for a major supermarket, and I have spoken to him about this quite a lot. He says that barring truly apocalyptic scenes (we're apparently not even close) there will be no issues feeding the country.​He says that barring a few specific items demand is no higher than at Xmas, it's just unexpected. In fact he promised me that in around just over two weeks, all but items with really long supply chains will be in plentiful supply. The nation will have toilet roll!I hope you'll forgive my presumptuousness in sending you this - I'm not, of course, suggesting that any of you were panicking or even close, but I found it reassuring and in these times, I thought it might help.Best wishes to you all. If I might be cheeky, a review of Doom Eternal would be good :-DKoPaul Vissick

This is reassuring. The panic buying doesn't worry me so much as make me angry. I went to buy frozen veg from Iceland for my parents the other night, and there was none left at all. My mum only has partial vision these days, and - for complicated reasons - needs food that she finds simple to cook (in her words, where she can just put her hand in a bag of frozen food and pull out what she needs). But thanks to the utter selfishness of others, I couldn't get her any.I'm also getting wound up by how many people still don't seem to be taking all this seriously, and aren't engaging with the whole social distancing thing. I see us all being forced into isolation in the not-too-distant, because of them. I've read that it's only really Generation X that's engaging with it en masse, and in my experience that is the case - younger and older generations seem to either think it's a lot of fuss about nothing, or have a "What will be will be" attitude. ​But anyhow. Thank you. And yes: expect a review of Doom Eternal.

READ ALL ABOUT IT... BUT WHEN?!

I'm currently having a standoff with a friend about which edition of the London Evening Standard was the last to be printed on a given day. I say it was the 'Late Prices Extra', while he says it was 'West End Final'.​Can you help?Ta.Steve

I always thought it was West End Final. Also, do they still have those Evening Standard vans with the orange and white stripes? Apologies to everyone outside of London, who must be finding this letter and its reply rather trying. WE'RE NOT ALL COCKNEYS, BTW.

HENNYTHING GOES!

Hi Mr.Biffo,Have a look at these delightful old birds:
These jolly birds have had a lovely life and given us many an egg, and outlived their 3 sisters and are also well past their egg laying days but are enjoying their retirement eating up grain and worms, possibly awaiting younger hens to join them, continuing the cycle as they and sisters were the younglings once, joining the previous old bird:
I’ve never met a bunch of friendlier hens, I hope the next batch are just as delightful!The salient game related point here is that the chickens aren’t viewed as individual birds, but rather a collective that over time loses and gains members, a bit like that Pokemon-Exeggcute (the one that’s a bunch of eggs), except these birds are already hatched and actually lay delcious mini exeggcutes.

Mr. S

My eldest daughter was supposed to be getting married in May, and her husband-to-be grew up on a farm - where the wedding reception was to be held. We went to visit it recently, and it really is a proper farm, with tractors and fields and maggot-infested sheep and that.For some reason, we all got it into our heads that my daughter loved hens, presumably because SHE ALWAYS MENTIONED HOW MUCH SHE LOVED THE HENS ON THE FARM, and so every birthday and Christmas she for years she's been getting hen-themed gifts.​Anyway, one thing we learned up at the farm is that it turns out she is, at best, ambivalent about hens. 

BEST GUESTS

If the person's profile/follower count was irrelevant, who are the three people that you'd most like to have as a guest on Digitiser?John

Man... that's tough. It's got to be people who would fit in. One of the things that I feel we got so right with the eps of Digitiser Deluxe is how well Sooz and Ash sort of just slotted seamlessly into the line-up. Also helps that they're a joy to be around. I'm probably overthinking this. Hmm. I don't want people that will try and take over, who feel the spotlight should be on them. So let's say... Bob Mortimer. He's not only really funny, but seems like a lovely man. Mike Stoklasa from RedLetterMedia, purely on a hunch that we'd all get along.There's an American comic called Meg Stalter, who is really, really funny. Heck, I can't stop at three. There are those who I'd love to get on, because it'd be fun to expose them to the weirdness. Big YouTuber Tom Scott does really interesting and informative videos, and I know he was a Mr Biffo's Found Footage Fan. On a similar note, Peter Sciretta who runs Slash Film, but also does excellent Disney vlogs. Again, just seems like a nice man, and he also really liked The Rise of Skywalker. Like me!I'd love to get the Aunty Donna boys on in some capacity, even if it's for a sketch or a cutaway. Heck, you can chuck Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim into that too, if we're talking really big.Then there are lesser know comics, like Stuart Laws and Sam Campbell who feel like they might be a good match. I dunno. It's hard. Because I also kind of want to bring in unexpected people - somebody like Dave Benson Phillips. ​I dunno. We'll try anyone once. Get in touch, semi-well-known people!

HAIRS TODAY

​Dear Mr. Biffo,Apologies in advance for my mawkish letter. A few years ago I wrote to Digitiser and had meant to follow up your reply to my letter but in the meantime I started a family and never had time.Now I have time because I'm in locked down Italy - terrifyingly housebound - but the thing I wanted to write about now seems frivolous in light of the situation. In fact, very much of what I spent my free time on up till now seems frivolous.For instance, nostalgia for 80s computer games, or at least not for the games themselves, but the feeling I had of enjoying everything to do with them in a secure family home. It makes me sad to think my daughters won't necessarily enjoy the ease of living I enjoyed myself back then, given what's unfolding around us. Their world will be harsher, it pains me to say.But then I thought, I'm glad something like Digitiser is there because it's a link to the past. Whether you're writing about old video games or not, it's still you and that continuity is comforting, which doesn't seem so frivolous after all.Once on here you wrote something about nostalgia like, "You can't go back. You can't". While that was meant light-heartedly, it really hit me hard. Shook me up a little, even, which may sound daft,  because it's such an obvious statement, but wallowing in the past and nostalgia was becoming a bit of an morbid obsession. It helped me to keep it in mind while learning how to let go of the past.So, I'm glad Digitiser is still around, but it's the fact Mr. Biffo is still writing that makes me happy rather than the retro gaming content. OK, I should stop rambling now.So what did I want to write about? Well, I told you years ago that Mr. Hairs featured in an English text book I used to teach with, with a broad Scottish accent in the accompanying audio. In your reply you didn't seem convinced I was telling the truth, so I thought I would send the page he was on as proof. Is it really him?Please don't use my real name this time (my fault, I don't know why I thought you wouldn't). Any pseudonym will do.Stay safe everyone.

Doktor Bum Face

Well, that's all rather nice. Not Hairs featuring in a text book - and yes, that's definitely really him, and I remember him going off to write that piece (which was originally for a newspaper) - but knowing I'M a nostalgia security blanket. I guess not everyone who now knows about Digi remembers me from the olden days. For some people I'm an old man who has just suddenly appeared out of nowhere, and belatedly starting doing undignified YouTube videos.

CH-CH-CHECK-OUT (IN)

Dear Paul, Mostly I wanted to check in with everyone and say Hi. It sunk in this week that my plans for this year are canceled. I admire your optimism on rescheduling Digi Live. That doesn't sound right. It gives me hope! That you see an end to this.I had already started working on something for Chunky Fringe. There will be more time to make something happen. Shall we look at it like that.It has all knocked the wind out of me. This is version 3 of this letter. a much shorter one.  Letters page is good, Don't want it to have the letter that's in me right now! I am very concerned. Let's leave it at that. I want every thing to be better for everyone. So I'm just saying hello, Hang in there.Simon

Must say I'm very glad I didn't book a summer holiday yet this year. Not that I could afford to go now anyway, but still. This is definitely an end to this, and it won't continue indefinitely. Not knowing when the end will be isn't exactly reassuring, but seeing Japan and China starting to come out the other side does give hope - even if we have to have tighter measures before we can get to the same place.Just remember, you're living through history. This is a global crisis, but the world has been through worse. 

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Hello all. I started out with the intention of this blog being a higher tier Patreon exclusive, but we're all in this together, and while we're being locked away... we don't have to be completely shut off.Rest assured, all Patrons will continue getting the videos early, and the higher tier gang will hopefully be getting some exclusive video content over the next week. I'm going to scour the hard drives for whatever I might have that we never used.I think I said already that I kind of want to do some rough-and-ready videos with Sanja alongside our regular ones. No idea what they might entail, and I've not ruled out doing a live stream either. Luckily, Gannon lives near me, so - providing neither of us have symptoms in the next week or so - we can get together to film some regular videos too. I'm going to need that. It's weird, but I had a phone meeting yesterday about work, and it really, really helped me to be focusing on that for an hour, and not thinking about everything else that's going on. Working this week has been such a challenge, as I keep checking the news every five seconds. It was nice to feel, even if it'll be proved futile, that some part of life is carrying on as normal.

MONEY WALKS

Like many of you, I'm going to be hit financially by Coronavirus, due to what I think will be the unavoidable cancellation of the three-part 4 O'Clock Club finale, that was due to start filming a week on Monday. I've not had confirmation yet, but given what is happening with production closing on other BBC shows, and CBBC's specific duty of care to young actors, and the fact that - as befitting a series finale - there are big crowd scenes... I can't see it going ahead. The best case scenario I'm looking at is they postpone filming until later in the year, but given actor and crew scheduling... I don't know how realistic that is. The reason this impacts me is because pretty much all writers receive a payment on the first day of shooting that's equivalent to 100% of their writing fee. No filming = having my pay cut in half, effectively.Fortunately, I've still got other work on at the minute, though whether that other show will go ahead is, of course, entirely up in the air at the minute. Currently, they only have funding for the first six scripts of the 13-part series (of which I'm writing three), and obviously getting funding for the rest is going to hinge on how likely it is that it'd actually film. So, I just don't know what's happening there at the minute, but I'm hoping for the best.As I've said elsewhere, I'm going to have to rely on Patreon more than usual just to keep us going, so thank god for all of you who support me (but please... don't go out of pocket to do so; these are completely unprecedented times, and I totally understand if you have to cancel). Normally I try to invest as much of the monthly Patreon funds as I can back into buying weird props, food, and equipment. Now I'll have to see myself as the investment, and get even more creative to keep you furnished with content.Strangely, I do take some comfort in knowing we're not going to be the only ones struggling. I get a weird feeling of community that we're all going to be making our way through this together. It's different to when bad stuff happens to you individually; I've not got that sense of "Whyyyyy me?!". FAMILY AT WARMy family has been hit in other ways. As I mentioned before, I've had two daughters in isolation with symptoms. Both work with the public, and both are young and sociable, so if any of us was going to get it first, it was going to be those two. Sadly, but inevitably, one of them has also now lost her job, as the cafe in Brighton where she worked is closing to everything except deliveries. Her mum and I were prepared to go halves if she needed help with her rent, but with my income now that much less certain, I'm not sure if I can afford to do that. I'm eager to hear how the government is going to be supporting renters...I've another one of my kids living up in Derby. There'll be no visiting there for a while, as his flatmate has a compromised immune system, and they're understandably being extra cautious. Sanja's middle daughter has had to cancel her 18th birthday party this week. Worst of all, my eldest has also been forced to cancel her wedding in May, which has been in the planning for over a year, and we've spent thousands of pounds on already. That's probably the most heart-breaking effect of all of this. Her job is safe, because she's a teacher - and she's going to have to continue working through this, because she works with special needs kids (though her school has now closed for a couple of days, as it needs a deep clean after two of the students tested positive). Her fiancé, however, has been told he could be made redundant, because he works for an agency that provides supply teachers. With schools closing, the company has no work coming in. In one bit of good news, though, he yesterday received an email offering him a job as a police officer (not randomly; he did apply months ago... we're not in Police Academy territory yet).And then, of course, there are my parents. Neither are in great health, especially my mum, but the biggest concern there is trying to get my dad to take this whole thing seriously. I dropped some shopping into them last night, and lost it with him when I found out he didn't want to give up his daily trip to Wenzels to get a load of bread. He's a creature of habit, and he's already despairing at the lack of football! Losing the rest of his routine is going to do his head in.He looked a bit shellshocked last night when I railed on him, but he's not alone. I know Sanja's mood has been up and down, and I started the week feeling very low. I've kind of bounced back since then - even with everything that has happened since - and I'm remaining optimistic despite it all. All things pass, but in the meantime I can already feel myself beginning to adapt to this new normal. What will be will be. Obviously, with schools, unis and colleges closing we're also now going to have three teenagers stuck at home for the foreseeable. Our youngest was hyperactive and excitable last night because school had been cancelled. We'll see how long that lasts...

STUCK IN

It isn't always that easy, but if you're not a frontline keyworker, and are fortunate enough to be stuck at home with your nearest and dearest, please try to be your best self. It's hard, I know, with so much uncertainty, but we need to keep one another's spirits up. That, as much as a vaccines and sensible precautions, is what's going to see us through this. Focus on the small positives and minor victories. Know that there is an end to this. If you've friends who live alone, reach out to them remotely. Stay busy. I know I'm very much looking forward to getting stuck into Doom Eternal this weekend (I'm tempted by the new Animal Crossing, but having never played one before, I dunno...). So... onto Digi Live. We received an email from the Arts Centre last night telling us that they're closing until further notice. They'll be contacting all hirers individually, and asking them to reschedule their bookings. The Arts Centre is a vital local hub, and has been struggling with money in recent years. For their sake, as much as us all needing something to look forward to on the other side of this, I'm loathe to cancel. Therefore, I will be looking at working with them to find another date, and we've spoken with David, who's organising Chunky Fringe, to make sure that can still go ahead on the same day. If people can't make it, we'll discuss refunds then, though I hope it will be far enough ahead that everyone will be able to attend. It may be a while until I can give you a date. Don't worry; it's not like I can take that money and fly off to the Bahamas... So, that's where we're at, and we're just one family. Ours experience is hardly unique, I know, but I've taken a sort of comfort in feeling connected to everyone else's struggles though this. We're only at the start, we've got a long way to go before this is over, and it seems it's going to get tougher before it gets better. Digitiser is going nowhere. Let's try and find ways to craft positive experiences out of this.​Just remember; the sinking of the Titanic was a terrible disaster, but in its wake liners started carrying sufficient lifeboats for every passenger and crew member, they instigated 24-hour radio communication with ships, a treaty was signed which led to the formation of the International Ice Patrol, and the design of ships were changed to make them safer.As hard as it might be to see right now, some good will come of this. At the very least, a reasonably decent disaster movie by James Cameron.

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



ZX Spectrum Charts taken from Crash

Others will be added when available

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



All Charts taken from C&VG

This Month in....1995 (Amiga)



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)



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

This Month in....2000 (PC)



N64 & PlayStation Charts taken from C&VG

PC Charts taken from PC Zone

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Wed Apr 01 13:15:12 +0000 2020

This is what we need. #newmusic #Serotonin #singersongwriter #music https://t.co/nZMspM45eB

Retweeted: 1
Liked: 7
Wed Apr 01 12:16:03 +0000 2020

RT @MelodicMotif: ICYMI: A novel sound in @tychokluid & 'Pseudo'. Write up below. https://t.co/zOi58n48oZ #TychoJones #Pseudo #rnb

Retweeted: 1
Liked: 0
Sat Mar 28 11:16:50 +0000 2020

RT @ScienceNelson: Missed this yesterday and it’s pragmatic, hopeful and beautifully written. A letter to the UK from Italy: this is what…

Retweeted: 6
Liked: 0
Fri Mar 27 19:36:01 +0000 2020

RT @WhiteboardFEED: Tycho Jones - Pseudo https://t.co/6uWTfIjj6s via @YouTube

Retweeted: 1
Liked: 0
Fri Mar 27 16:55:23 +0000 2020

RT @acidstag: UK newcomer @tychokluid builds on his already impressive catalogue with two new emotional treats: https://t.co/uzPUXiMWqy (v…

Retweeted: 2
Liked: 0
Thu Mar 26 22:52:13 +0000 2020

RT @MandevillePS: Some of our pupils don’t have laptops or tablets at home. They can’t access remote learning. Can you donate laptops, tabl…

Retweeted: 147
Liked: 0
Wed Mar 25 13:36:32 +0000 2020

Can't. Stop. Listening. #singersongwriter #coronavirus #corvid19 @callmeFinlay - Strange (Official Music Video) https://t.co/nc3vRplHUZ

Retweeted: 1
Liked: 2
Tue Mar 24 00:10:49 +0000 2020

@callmeFinlay Hauntingly beautiful, everyone needs to hear it

Retweeted: 0
Liked: 0
Sun Mar 22 16:29:52 +0000 2020

I got given an entire heart-shaped field of flowers for #MothersDay courtesy of #AnimalCrossingNewHorizon and #selfisolating https://t.co/lYD33cvEMP

Retweeted: 2
Liked: 16
Sun Mar 22 14:34:54 +0000 2020

RT @jjsanderson: Very helpful analysis, and interpretation (via @TheOxfordDom)

Retweeted: 2
Liked: 0
Sat Mar 21 21:58:20 +0000 2020

Released last week, this #newmusic from @callmeFinlay is oddly prescient https://t.co/nc3vRplHUZ #singersongwriter

Retweeted: 0
Liked: 4
Sat Mar 21 13:19:19 +0000 2020

RT @ScienceNelson: The Doctor Who Helped Defeat Smallpox Explains What's Coming | WIRED Matter of fact, pulls no punches, yet strangely re…

Retweeted: 222
Liked: 0
Sat Mar 21 07:38:59 +0000 2020

RT @richardosman: People still congregating in busy spaces saying ‘it’s the Dunkirk sprit’, need to understand that in this scenario they’r…

Retweeted: 13219
Liked: 0
Wed Mar 18 09:56:00 +0000 2020

@LucyBYeatman 🦅 😍

Retweeted: 0
Liked: 0
Tue Mar 17 09:20:27 +0000 2020

@tkingdot ❤️

Retweeted: 0
Liked: 1

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