Deviants: New Type-in Hack

OK, this is probably the most niche post I could ever make (potential audience: 1 – me!). I originally wanted to pair this with an examination of the use of words and language in Deviants, but circumstances have prevented me from rustling up a post I was happy with, despite having whipped up the hack first. Also: playtesting is a b*tch.

Anyway, here’s a brand new approx 28 years late type-in hack for the original release of Deviants. It substitutes new names for the 16 Teleports in the game, reifying the experience of playing it for the first time. Now spoiled players (e.g. me) can have a go without knowing how to skip ahead using any undiscovered Teleport names except the secret groan/shame-inducing one.

5 REM Deviants Teleport Hack
7 REM BY STEVENGER
8 REM based on Jon Norths one
9 REM in YS #31
10 CLEAR 24999: LOAD "" CODE
20 FOR f=23299 TO 3e4: READ a$
30 IF VAL a$=VAL "999" THEN GO TO 50
40 POKE f,VAL a$: NEXT f
50 POKE VAL "39165",VAL "91"
55 RANDOMIZE USR VAL "38000"
60 DATA "205","3","152","175"
70 DATA "33","21","91"
75 DATA "1","128","0"
80 DATA "17","0","144"
90 DATA "195","15",153"
100 DATA "13","1","26","1","4","1","20","8"
110 DATA "7","1","12","1","3","20","9","19"
120 DATA "2","18","21","14","1","4","15","18"
130 DATA "8","1","13","1","6","1","12","12"
140 DATA "20","5","3","8","14","15","9","4"
150 DATA "18","1","14","3","15","18","21","19"
160 DATA "13","9","14","9","15","14","9","24"
170 DATA "20","15","18","15","14","20","21","19"
180 DATA "4","5","22","9","1","14","20","19"
190 DATA "7","18","1","22","9","20","1","19"
200 DATA "3","1","18","2","15","14","9","1"
210 DATA "1","19","20","5","18","15","14","20"
220 DATA "15","7","18","1","13,"5","14","20"
230 DATA "16","15","18","20","1","12","9","19"
240 DATA "19","5","14","14","1","4","15","18"
250 DATA "10","1","3","1","4","9","21","19"
300 DATA "999"

This clumsily-constructed hack owes a massive debt to the prolific and talented Jon North who provided many classic-era POKEs and hacks. I’ve used the framework of his hack of the original release loader (published in Your Sinclair #31 and reproduced at The Tipshop) as the delivery mechanism for my straightforward POKE-ing of new Teleporter names. The messy double-quotes and byte-saving VAL expressions are all my fault though. Lines 100 to 250 define the new eight-letter names (1=”A”, 2=”B”…26=”Z”) which I’ve tried to keep modern meme-free and vaguely era-appropriate. The only guessable one should be the one you’re meant to guess.

Input the hack (easier in 128K mode), swap your tape emulated or otherwise to an original release copy of Deviants (or equivalent .tap/.tzx from the World Of Spectrum site) and type RUN. If all else fails, nip down to Woolworths, grab yourself a brand new Speccy along with a £1.99 cassette of the game and get typing. I actually do have finger-saving .tzx and .z80 versions to share, but WordPress Says No. Is Rapidshare still a thing?

I’ll follow up with my intended post about the joys of Deviants‘ little tricks and level design another time. Willing to help troubleshoot in the comments. Make sure you’ve got a copy of the game first!

I go through all this before you wake up

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Da22 says:

    You and only you would do this and that’s why your are alright 😂
    In all seriousness though some top work putting longevity into an older game

    Liked by 1 person

    1. stevenger says:

      Cheers! Like I say, I wanted to talk about the original Teleport names which means spoilers for the game. I do admit to being slightly inspired by the Atari 2600 community which unabashedly still churns out neat graphics hacks (as well as new cartridges and much more!).

      Liked by 1 person

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