The Man With A Long Chin's Diary


Games Helplines

29 April 1995

This is the age (week) of the phone helplines. I, Phoning Honey, have rapidly returned to bring you news of the phonus helpus. I will - damn! I will contact three companies, and pose with them as a troubled gamer.

This will help me to gauge their powers of helpen, and whether I will use them again.

1. MICROPROSE 01454 329510

Time to answer phone: 4 seconds

US: Got this game. Got Pizza Tycoon.

MICROPROSE: Do you need help with it?

US: Yes, yes. The music doesn't work.

MICROPROSE: At what point does it stop?

US: Just after the beginning, when that laughing drum shakes.

MICROPROSE: In fact, there isn't any music after the intro. Just effects.

US: Oh, how funny! But I have a Soundblaster 16, and all I get is this terrible scratching. Scratch... scratch. Is that people scratching their menus?

MICROPROSE: No! Try selecting SB Original, or failing that, send us a copy of your start-up files. Did you have to wait long for us to answer?

US: No. No I didn't. Quick! Bye-bye.

2. SIERRA 01734 303171

Time to answer phone: 2 seconds

US: I think this is bad, but I have a problem with Leisure Suit Larry.

SIERRA: The first one? Did you buy the Larry anthology?

US: I don't like shops or shopping. I found it in a... Tremendous! Help me.

SIERRA: Yes...

US: At the start, a taxi driver calls me "Bub". What does this mean? Is it his nickname from the Army?

SIERRA: Just a moment... (he confers). Yes, it's just an American slang term for "chum" or "buddy".

US: It made me want to kill him. May I?

SIERRA: (laughs) No! It's a comedy adventure game.

US: That's what they said about Wogan.

SIERRA: If you need tips you can get our tips line on 01734 304004.

US: Do you know, I think that would be just right. There is a cheat I need.

SIERRA: Yes, well...

US: No. I must tell you about it. I've heard, you see, that if one presses all the keys with "F" and a number on, like F3 and FC, Larry goes into overdrive...

(We now start to laugh and are obliged to terminate the call.)

3. NINTENDO HOTLINE 01703 652222

Time to answer phone: 5 seconds

US: Do you know the bit in Mario World with the dinosaurs - the Donut place?


US: It says about the time and the coins. It makes it change. Two exits?

NINTENDO: What about it?

US: Well, how does the time and the coins affect the exit?

NINTENDO: Well, you have to get to the halfway point with 50 coins.

US: But it says about the time, and...

NINTENDO: Look, it makes no difference. You have to use the 50 coins.

US: Why, when you finish one bit, do blokes with orange faces come about?

NINTENDO: It's to show how far you are.

US: Are they there to scare me?

NINTENDO: Probably.

US: Is it true that there is a new Mario game coming out with his daddy in? Is it called Daddio?

NINTENDO: NO! There are no new Mario games coming out. No Mario games. None.

US: Goodbye then.

Phoning is over, results are getting fat. Look:

MICROPROSE: Prompt, courteous and efficient. Best line so far.

SIERRA: Very good line, apart from the laughing.

NINTENDO: A bit flash. Stay at this line-level.

EA: Didn't answer. Bad line.

Do you know of any important moments from the annals of Digi history that have been omitted? If so, then mail me ( right now, man. Credit will be duly given for anything that gets put up.

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