My games for the BBC microcomputer resurrected

[Play online at] [Download 49K]

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I wrote a few games for the BBC Model B microcomputer back in 1982-84. Some of the games were published in Your Computer magazine (Pacman in December 1982, Scrambler in August 1983, Loona Rescue in October 1984, and Darts in December 1984) as articles with rather long listings for the reader to type in. If I can find my old copies of the magazine I'll scan the articles and put them here. [Update 2016: I didn't scan them myself but I found electronic scans of the old magazines online, so here they are: Pacman, Scrambler, Loona Rescue and Darts. As a bonus, I found the first article I had published in May 1982, on hacking together a DIY joystick for the Sinclair ZX81].

I recently rediscovered a dusty pile of cassettes of my old games. A quick search on Google revealed that there were a number of very good BBC emulators around as well as tools for reading BBC files from cassette through a soundcard. I downloaded the excellent BeebEm and MakeUEF and after playing around a little I have managed to get all of the games running again after eighteen years or so lying in the attic :)

Here are some screenshots - click on the thumbnails for full size images.

Memory was very limited on the BBC, especially when using the more interesting but memory-hungry graphics modes. To get the games to fit in 32K I had made use of several chunks of memory which were available to tape-based machines but which I have now discovered are needed by the disk filing system (&E00 to &1900 as well as bits and pieces below &E00). So I had to spend a little time reminding myself how the BBC worked and learning how to use the DFS before converting the games to run from disk.

The games all run well, but Break (f12 and ctrl-f12 in BeebEm) doesn't always fully reset the emulator after running some of them - probably because they have overwritten some of the paged ROM workspace locations. Later versions of BeebEm have a reset option (File->Reset) which will get it running again, earlier versions either need to be exited and restarted or you can reload a working state (File->Load State) without quitting BeebEm - provided you have previously saved a clean state image.

I have put all of the games on a single disk image [ ]. It is a zipped, single sided disk image which needs the Watford Electronics DFS 1.44 to be installed as it uses *MLOAD to get code loaded over the DFS working memory. I've included a menu program to run the games: press shift-f12 to call the menu via !BOOT after loading dpg-games.ssd into drive 0 with File->Load Disk 0.

I have tried a couple of versions of BeebEm, but the older one runs faster (at full speed with almost 50 frames/s) on my ancient 200MHz PC running Windows 95. The latest version (v1.4) has a much better teletext font but needs either a more modern CPU or graphics card or both to run at top speed with full refresh rates.


Update, 2016... Many of the links below are broken. However, no need to muck around with getting a standalone emulator running as you can play some of my games (and most other games released for the BBC) online in your browser at
My games disk image: , 49K (unzip and put into BeebEm's discims directory)


Version 1.04

No tape support but runs at full speed on my old PC.
Move BeebEm.exe from BeebEm's intelbin directory to main BeebEm directory.

Version 1.4

Loads tapes, great teletext font, but slow on my PC.

ROM images:

OS-1.2.rom - BASIC2.rom - DFS-1.44.rom
Included in v1.4 but needed for v1.04. Save in BeebEm's beebfile directory, rename "OS-1.2.rom" to "os12".


Plays BBC tapes through a soundcard and converts them to UEF files for reading into BeebEm (v1.35 and later).
(note: I had to use the following options to get MakeUEF working for me: "
makeuef -l s -s t -o <filename>" and run it after the lead-in tone has begun)


BBC User Guide
Watford Electronics DFS User Guide


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Page created 12 January 2002 by David Griffin