After the decision by the publishers of 80 Micro
magazine to end TRS-80 coverage, there was a demand for new sources of TRS-80 information. TRSLINK
was first proposed by Luis M. Garcia-Barrio, sysop of a bulletin board system in Philadelphia. In many ways, the concept resembled the old CLOAD
magazine. It was envisioned as an electronic magazine for TRS-80 users, but not as a replacement for existing magazines. Each issue could fit on one 5 1/4" disk (although some later issues required a double-sided disk). Article submissions from users were welcomed, and any advertisements submitted were included for free. Unlike CLOAD
, distribution was provided for free via bulletin board systems, FidoNet, Usenet, and GEnie.
After learning that 80 Micro was planning to drop TRS-80 support, Lance Wolstrup decided to launch his own magazine which he named TRSTimes. As he stated in the first issue:
“What I wanted was a newsletter whose roots and traditions were firmly planted in the Wayne Green tradition of 80 Micro from 1981 to 1983; one that would be primarily oriented toward the TRS-80 hobbyist.”
Nukliex was written in 1984 by Dennis Lo, and released through JMG Software International. Although the game’s title screen identifies itself as “Nukliex”, it was always advertised as “Nucliex”.
When you start Nukliex, you can select a difficulty level between 1 and 10. You control a ship located at the bottom of the screen that fires shots toward the top. Asteroids and aliens attack you from above. This is pretty standard for most games of this type. But unlike other games, you can also move your ship not just side to side but also up and down. Your ship also has a shield that will protect it when you press the ENTER key. The shield takes time to regenerate itself, so you need to use it sparingly.
The first commercial joystick for the TRS-80, the STICK-80, was created by Alpha Products (originally Alpha Product Co.). The first advertisement I can find was in the December 1980 issue of 80 Microcomputing
. The STICK-80 package included an Atari joystick and interface and originally cost $29.95.
Yves Lempereur wrote nine games for the TRS-80, but the five he wrote for Funsoft are his most famous. His games are of very high quality, with a great visual style, and are among the best ever written for the TRS-80.
Bill Hogue is arguably the most famous of the TRS-80 game programmers. The games he wrote for Big Five Software, the company he established with Jeff Konyu, rank among the best ever created for the TRS-80.
was based on the arcade game Space Panic
, released by Universal in 1980. The original version was written for the Apple II by Ben Serki in 1981 and sold by Brøderbund Software. There were also versions of Apple Panic
sold for the Atari 400/800 and the IBM PC (both written by Olaf Lubeck) and for the Commodore VIC-20 (by Creative Software). The TRS-80 version was written by Yves Lempereur in 1982 and published by Funsoft, the fifth of nine games that he wrote for the TRS-80.
Funsoft, Inc., based in Agoura, California, was a game publisher which sold five games for the TRS-80. All five were written by Yves Lempereur, and were among the best available for the TRS-80.
Galaxy Invasion Plus
was an update to Galaxy Invasion
with a few new features added. An important difference from the older game is the voices. The speech include “Galaxy Invasion” (at the title screen), “Prepare to die, human!” (as the game starts), and “Game over, Player 1” (when the game ends). Other phrases that are used include: “You’re dead!”, “Flagship alert!”, and “Extra ship!” If you achieve a high score, the game says, “Great Score, Player 1”. But if you beat the top score, it says “Super Score, Player 1”. The speech is very clear and one of the best examples of voice in a TRS-80 game.
The names Big Five Software and Bill Hogue were legendary in the field of TRS-80 games. Bill Hogue and Jeff Konyu created Big Five Software in order to market their TRS-80 games. Two early Big Five Software games, Super Nova
and Galaxy Invasion
, redefined the way TRS-80 games looked and acted and influenced the games that followed. For many, the final Big Five Software game for the TRS-80 marked the end of the TRS-80 game market.