Feeds

(Back) into The Valley

Remembering a BASIC coding classic from 1982

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

We all had a lot of fun, tweaking the code to cheat and just playing the game the proper way.

The Valley - logo

What are you... Barbarian or Wizard?

Time went by and other kids moved on to different, more visually exciting games, but I always kept the Boots C15 cassette I kept The Valley on near to hand. Dragon games were more expensive and less exciting than their Spectrum equivalents, so I didn't have a lot else to play. Only Ken Kalish's Doom-before-its time Phantom Slayer got as much screen time.

But The Valley got me really programming. A Frogger clone came first, with 6809 machine code routines Poke'd into place to handle the side-scrolling logs and lorries.

The Valley - screens

Screen magic: text-as-graphics in glorious monochrome

And I carried on playing it. Until A levels took up almost all of my free time. Then University.

Computing Today was long gone, but I never stopped thinking about The Valley. It never ocurred to me not to hack into the Amstrad PCW 8256 I bought up to type up my third-year Physics project.

I came back to The Valley many years later only to find that old Boots C15 tape was long lost - though I still have the Dragon 32, Phantom Slayer, a fiendish Donkey Kong clone and a few other titles, all of which still load and run. I occasionally get it out for my son, who's young enough still not to dismiss the ancient four-colour blocky graphics out of hand.

The Valley - player

IT professionals, take up your swords...

I pondered coding it up for Mac OS X, but without the listing I'd not only be re-inventing the wheel but producing a hybrid of recollection and guesswork. It would be a Valley, but not the Valley.

Since I couldn't remember the name of the publication The Valley first appeared in, Google proved unhelpful.

Until a couple of weeks ago, when I came across Fraser Charlton's Valley memorial page, complete with a version written in BBC Basic, a Windows runtime of BBC port, and some scans of the original pages - it's where I got the pictures from for this article.

Fraser's now a Consultant Pathologist at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle Upon Tyne, but he still remembers The Valley fondly. I do too, and I suspect we're not alone.

Right, last one to Vounim's Lair is a wuss... ®

I'd like to thank Fraser for not only posting the sample scans and BBC Basic code, but also agreeing to my cheeky request to scan in the entire listing.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
All aboard the Poo Bus! Ding ding, route Number Two departing
Only another three days of pooing and I can have a ride!
Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it
Court pops open cans of worms and whup-ass in Fitbit case
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
The IT Crowd's internet in a box gets $240k of crowdcash for a cause
'Outernet' project proposes satellite-fuelled 'Lantern' WiFi library for remote areas
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.