Crazee Rider: The Never Finished Game
Imagine a time long ago. A time when grubby Tory MPs only confessed their sins after they were revealed in the News of the World on a Sunday morning. A time when, for this small boy, ‘me too’ was just a plea to be picked for the team. A time when starting sentences with the word ‘so’ would get you short shrift.
In that time there was a place. It was a place famous for a Victorian novelist and a minor 70’s camp comedian. Within that depressed, depressing town there was a kitchen and, in that kitchen, was a small boy. The small boy, ten-years-old, was whizzing up and down the side of a work surface on an old office chair, skilfully swerving the ridges on the new tiles.
It is 1988 and he is waiting for Crazee Rider to load. He expects it to load by 1992. Clicking, whirring, wheezing, gurning, the computer is also making noises. The computer in question, typically imposed upon children of teachers, was a top of the range BBC Master Compact, which had ingested the small blue disk.
“It is 1988 and he is waiting for Crazee Rider to load. He expects it to load by 1992.”
And this is the big one. Having battled through Le Mans, Anderstorp, Paul Ricard and Brands Hatch, the boy knows that today he will go further than ever before, hammering the z and x keys to sabotage other drivers by swerving into them, an eerie foreshadowing of his real driving technique which was still a decade away from it’s troubling debut.
Stamping down on the slash key to eat up the miles and scythe through the 59-strong field of slow, obstacle-pixel enemies, he drives. He is determined to finish in the top six, to get to the next track and to corner as recklessly as a winner, a man on a mission, could. He is determined that the race will be won, before his sister thwarts him. The bike whines on, as his sister (“it’s my turn on Crazee Rider!”) and his mum (“tidy your room”) also whine on.
“He is determined that the race will be won, before his sister thwarts him.”
He goes past one and then the next. He’s 11th, 10th, in the zone and feeling good. Driving and swerving, neat but ruthless. He’s in the zone, a contender. IN THE ZONE! Suddenly he’s nearly there, the final track, IT’S THE FINAL TRACK!
He’s driving. He says “Get AWAY from the plug, I know what you’re doing”. More driving “Just ten more minutes, I’ve done my homework”. He goes on and on, he’s nearly there, whining and driving and then comes the last corner. The last lap. The very last lap.
Suddenly comes the sibling authored “accident”. The knocked plug. The unplugged plug. The black screen. The silence. The (brief) pause in the whining. And then the smirking, sisterly “apology”. The landed punch. The outraged scream. The protests to authority, the forced “apology”. The judgement, the Lifetime ban from Crazee Rider.
For those who remember it and want to relive this fantastic game, youtube footage, (not of me, I was better and faster) is available here:
Audio / Visual