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A Personal Tribute to Zenobi

By Andy Ryals

I would like to openly pay tribute to John Wilson. This man virtually moulded the Spectrum adventure scene. Some of the all time great games came from his imagination. As a regular reader of Mike Gerrard's adventure column I would eagerly await the release of a new Zenobi game which, of course, I'd purchase.

The thing with Zenobi games is you would go through a cycle of frustration, pissing yourself with laughter, finding all the hidden messages, and finally an enormous sense of worth when you finished the sodding things!

Dealing with John was always a pleasure. You got your letters answered personally. You always got what you asked for help-wise. I can't fault it really.

John mentions snapshot distribution - I personally have not done any distribution. I don't have the means and besides, such practices kill support as we have found out with Zenobi. It is possible to contact websites and get his games. Some sites are ULTRA keen on removing games when copyright is violated but some don't give a sh*t. Pity.

I can see no point in encrypting his games. It depends on what you classify as encryption? What's the point in encrypting old Quill games? A simple hack published in Your Sinclair can easily get around this as can a good disassembler, i.e. Genie 128.

PAW games are already enrypted and compiled so what is the point of re-encrypting an already encrypted piece of code. Pointless if you ask me.

I know of no planned CDs with John's work on them and I think it's a pity about the copyright infringements because every individual's work should be respected.

I have one main comment on the Speccy copyright issue: if a software house is dead and buried, has ceased trading, and the author has given permission for his work to be distributed, then I firmly believe games should be shared by everyone. But if the opposite applies then obviously the software owner has a crust to make and no individual should distribute their work.

I believe John should not shut down his company. John, if you're reading this then please think again. How about writing some more games purely for fun on proper websites that fully respect and worship your work?

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