On our recent Podcast #007 (Failed Alien Holidays), we read out a great email from friend of the show, Kevin, who lurks like some stainless steel rat in the futuristic wainscoting of Twitter behind the facade of @livewire1221.
“Back in 1984, the ZX Spectrum was THE home computer of choice. Yes it only had 48K memory and could only display 256 colours, but those limitations helped produce some of the most innovative and ground breaking games ever.
At the forefront of this innovation was Automata, run by the guru’s guru Mel Croucher (Hugo Rune had nothing on this guy). My friends and I were Croucher’s “acolytes”, I guess, becoming friendly with him at his regular appearances at the Ally Pally computer fairs in the 80’s.
Automata had already produced “PiMania”, the first ever real life treasure hunt computer game with a prize of £6,000. But now they released their magnum opus – “Deus Ex Machina”.
Telling the epic multi-stage story of an accidental artificial life form in a Big Brother-esque 1994, it was loosely based on Shakespeare’s Seven Ages Of Man as you guided the life form from birth to death.
Its unique factor however was that it came with a complete synchronised music sound-track with voice-overs and singing from Ian Dury, Frankie Howerd, and one Jon Pertwee…”
Kevin very kindly sent us some audiofiles of Jon’s voiceovers on the game which we include below. We can’t quite picture them coupled with Lara Croft’s outrageously provocative grunting as she pulls herself up onto a block of concrete but autre pays autre moeurs.
Audio file 1 – The Seven Ages of Man (updated for 1994) which is then peppered throughout the game as you play each stage.
Audio file 2 – Another Shakespearian piece from the end of the game.
Audio file 3 – The opening sequence of the game.
(the Diddly Dumbers happily acknowledge the copyright of Automata UK and salute all involved in what sounds like a corker of a game for any time)