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THE EAGLE SOCIETY is dedicated to the memory of EAGLE - Britain's National Picture Strip Weekly - the leading Boy's magazine of the 1950s and 1960s. We publish a quarterly journal - the Eagle Times.

This weblog has been created to provide an additional, more immediate, forum for news and commentary about the society and EAGLE-related issues. Want to know more? See First Post and Eagle - How it began.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Virgin's Dan Dare computer game

In 1986 Virgin Games Ltd produced a Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future game, developed by the "Gang Of Five" (Dave B. Chapman, Martin Wheeler). Somewhat different versions were created for three platforms: the Sinclair Spectrum, the Amstrad CPC and the Commodore 64. Rather than being based on the new incarnation of 'Dan Dare' then running in the "new" Eagle, the game (and particularly the packaging) owed more to the original 1950s Eagle character created by Frank Hampson, who had died a year earlier. The instructions included the following:
This game is dedicated to the memory of Frank Hampson, the creator of Dan Dare who sadly died on 8th July 1985. We hope he would have approved of our treatment of his characters.

This "speedrun" of Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future, recently posted by "tehvalli" on YouTube gives a flavour of the Spectrum version:



If that whetted your appetite, and you want to play the game, there are emulators that run under Windows and other operating systems, and you can download the games to run on them. (See The World of Spectrum). Here is a link to download a Spectrum emulator, called ZX Spin, that runs under Windows (from 95 to XP I understand - I've run it under XP): download ZX Spin.
Just download and unzip the files into a folder of your choice. The emulator should run by clicking on the ZXSpin.exe application. There is a Help file in the application.

To download the Spectrum version of Dan Dare to run on the emulator, click on the appropriate link in this List of Spectrum Games beginning with D. (Sorry, creating direct links to the file doesn't work). The original instructions for Dan Dare are here. And if you need a map, view one here.

The game was very successful, and led to two further (somewhat less successful!) games being developed:
Dan Dare II: The Mekon's Revenge and Dan Dare III: The Escape. You will find download links for those in the same list you found Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future.

NOTE: Sorry, Eagle Times cannot provide any more help with installing, configuring or running the emulator or the games on your particular computer, so please don't ask!

2 comments:

hackersanon said...

Hello..

I help out with World of Spectrum.
Here are direct links for the 3 games:

Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future:
http://www.worldofspectrum.org/infoseekid.cgi?id=0001235

Dan Dare II: Mekon's Revenge:
http://www.worldofspectrum.org/infoseekid.cgi?id=0001238

Dan Dare III: The Escape:
http://www.worldofspectrum.org/infoseekid.cgi?id=0001241

Cheers,
Gerard

Will Grenham said...

Gerard, Thanks. Much appreciated.