SPEECH!

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Mire Mare
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SPEECH!

Post by Mire Mare » Fri Oct 02, 2009 7:14 am

I was blown away the first time I heard my Commodore 64 screech "Ghostbusters! Ra ha ha ha ha ha haaaa" before it started playing a very accurate rendition of Ray Parker Jnr's classic Ghostbusters tune. I found out pretty quickly that pressing the space bar brought on another shout of "Ghostbusters!". And another and another and another.... my parents must've been demented. Awesome stuff!

Not a game as such but I also had a Currah's Speech 64. A natty device that plugged into the C64 cartridge port and 488 Port(?). It worked using phonetics and would speak anything you told it to. You can imagine, I'm sure, what words me and my pals tried to get it to pronounce perfectly. Yep, those exact words. Hours of fun.

Another game that sticks in my mind for it's speech is Impossible Mission again on C64. Released a little later than Ghostbusters, I think, but still in '84. This game had speech that made everyone that didn't have a c64 green with envy. I remember loading it up for my Speccy and Beeb owning friends and sitting back ready to watch their faces and gloat as they heard..."another visitor. Stay a while. Stay forever!!" Gaming magic :)

Anyone else remember the first time they were wowed with a talking video game? And not in a weird subliminal way!

Fred83
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Re: SPEECH!

Post by Fred83 » Fri Oct 02, 2009 7:28 am

amiga "say" program in its workbench o.s...

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markopoloman
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Re: SPEECH!

Post by markopoloman » Fri Oct 02, 2009 7:32 am

I remember being impressed with my mates rubber bouncy speccy one day! He loaded up Nodes of Yesod and it actually said 'Nodes of Yesod by Odin Computer Graphics' :shock: AND it was actually pretty good.

I-Ball on the C64 was good for speech before that fantastic Rob Hubbard track kicked in :D
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Alarm
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Re: SPEECH!

Post by Alarm » Fri Oct 02, 2009 7:49 am

Berzerk and Sinistar spring to mind. :)

On the home formats, Impossible Mission on the C64 and like markopoloman has said, some of the Odin games.

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Re: SPEECH!

Post by psj3809 » Fri Oct 02, 2009 7:49 am

Yeah Ghostbusters on the C64 was very impressive. I bought a crappy game, it seemed like an 'E.T' style game for the Speccy, dire cover, looked homemade, anyway that amazingly had speecy in. Shocking 'game' but weird that had speech.

I still love 'PREPARE TO LAUNCH' on Death Star Interceptor on the Speccy. Being a big star wars fan i played this game a lot (good game as well) but the speech was always amusing

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Sureshot
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Re: SPEECH!

Post by Sureshot » Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:21 am

Repton 3. I also had Speech! on the BBC, which you could put your own stuff into. Hours of fun. ;) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8wyUsaDAyI

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Re: SPEECH!

Post by Fred83 » Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:36 am

Beach head 2 on C64 had good speech samples.I remember the intro on X-out had speech too...
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cruachan
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Re: SPEECH!

Post by cruachan » Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:34 am

Valhalla on the Amiga - just slightly before cd-rom became popular this was an adventure with full digitised speech - the blurb in the adds was "Look whos talking" - then cd-rom came along and there was speech everywhere.

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Re: SPEECH!

Post by the_hawk » Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:49 am

Yeah, "Ghostbusters" & "he slimed me" on the 48k spectrum was my introduction to synthesised speech.

I also loved "Advanced Soccer Simulator" witch not only had a hilarious acronym but would yell "goal GOAL G-G-G-G-G-G-GOAL!" like a demented robot at a cup final every time you scored.
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Matt_B
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Re: SPEECH!

Post by Matt_B » Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:58 am

The first game I came across with speech in it was Meteor Storm for the Spectrum in 1982. It was a barely recognizable croak of "Meteor Alert". Still, it was speech, and learning why it was so poor was an education in itself; basically the ULA and the CPU are fighting over access to the RAM on the 16K machine and the former always wins whilst the screen is being drawn, leading to rather erratic playback of sampled sound.

Another game released at about the same time, The Chess Player, used the same system but ran in 48K and sounds quite decent. That's about as good as speech ever got on the machine though; the other big limitation was that you only really had 1 bit resolution to work with thanks to the beeper; other 8-bits did a lot better thanks to having sound chips that supported differing volume levels giving them a little more to play with. I also had a Currah Microspeech, but hardly any games used it; I think Atic Atac was supposed to, but that seemed to crash whenever I loaded it with the hardware connected.

The next quantum leap, for me at least, was Chaos (a PD clone of the Spectrum classic) on the Atari ST, again just driven through the sound chip, but with a much beefier CPU and far more RAM for samples. It had a superb array of clips taken from shows like Red Dwarf and Blackadder; "I think the phrase rhymes with clucking bell" always played just before your wizard died, for instance.

Then there was Wolfenstein 3D with its host of Nazi catchphrases in hilariously bad broken German. I heard they re-did them all with corrected grammar using native German voice actors for some of the later releases though, which I'd think rather spoils the fun a bit.

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FatTrucker
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Re: SPEECH!

Post by FatTrucker » Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:03 am

Probably Astro Blaster in the Arcade. Wierdest thing is that even today the Ghost of that wow feeling still exists when I play it.
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Commander Jameson
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Re: SPEECH!

Post by Commander Jameson » Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:07 am

I too had the Currah unit, but the Speccy one - that was my 'big' christmas present in '86 i think! Well chuffed with it I was as well, spent hours playing with it!

My first encounter was probably Hunchy? I think, with its' manic-sounding 'Rock the Baby! Rock the Baby!' which became my and my mates stock response to hearing ANY badly-done speech in a game.

Favourites like Moon alert and Blade Alley were 'enhanced' by the Currah unit too.

Strange to compare the likes of the speech on Ghostbusters and Hunchy to later stuff, like Starglider - I may be wearing rose-tinted headphones but I seem to recall Stargliders' speech being VERY clear and distinct?
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Re: SPEECH!

Post by TwoHeadedBoy » Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:47 am

We all got excited when Bubsy was speaking to us through the Mega Drive, but then he wouldn't ever shut up.
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resident paul
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Re: SPEECH!

Post by resident paul » Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:01 am

Parsec with the speech box for the TI 99 4a was good & also you program in basic sound like speak'n'spell.
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ShadowMan
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Re: SPEECH!

Post by ShadowMan » Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:03 am

Not the first speech I heard in a game, but Kid Chameleon's "speech" always sticks in my mind. Back when I was younger when reverting back to the kid after taking to many hits I always thought he said "Oh Shit" After playing it again years later it sounds like he just grunts. Makes me wonder how I managed to mishear that continously all those years ago :?
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