Zombi, Amstrad CPC

The Amstrad CPC version of Ubisoft‘s Zombi was the first version of the game released, in 1986, and also Ubisoft‘s first ever published game. And – considering the giant that Ubisoft is now – it’s pretty amazing to think that this weird movie rip-off on the Amstrad was the one that started it all for them…

Zombi represents an interpretation [ie. a complete rip-off] of George A. Romero‘s classic 1978 horror film, Dawn of the Dead, only as an interactive point-and-click adventure with a first-person viewpoint.

These are not ‘first-person graphics’ like you see in Call of Duty, though. No. These are primitive – from the early days of home computing – when you were lucky if you got animation that ran at two frames per second, never mind sixty frames per second. In fact: Zombi‘s visuals are mostly still images, punctuated with the bare minimum of movement and some sparse sound effects.

You control a team of four people (all named after the creators of the game) using icons at the bottom of the screen, and the idea is to infiltrate a shopping mall by fighting your way through the living dead who stand between you and a semi-permanent base inside this mecca of consumerism.

You begin the game with no weapons and must quickly find some guns to shoot zombies with, and therein lies a problem for me… Because every time I play Zombi, as soon as I pick up a gun and a zombie tries to come on-screen… the game crashes!

I’ve tried running Zombi on every Amstrad CPC emulator available, and have many – if not ALL – of the disk images of the game available online, and the same thing happens every time I try to play it… When I get to the first gun shop inside the mall, and pick up a weapon, the game makes a high-pitched ‘click’ sound and crashes… I’ve tried running emulators in every possible configuration. I’ve tried running the 64K and 128K versions of the game, and the same thing happens every time. I’ve wasted hours – maybe even days – trying to get the game past this point, but have failed. So I’m writing this as an appeal…

If anyone out there might know why this is happening, or is experiencing the same issue themselves, or might have a solution to the problem… PLEASE LET ME KNOW because I really want to play this game and get screenshots of it past the point where it crashes!

As I said earlier: I’ve spent hours and hours in front of WinAPE, messing with different configurations, trying to get it to work. I’ve tried the game with sound disabled; I’ve tried the game with Caprice, JavaCPC, Arnold, No$CPC, and every other Amstrad emulator available; I’ve tried numerous disk images, and the same thing always happens: it always seems to crash when the first zombie tries to come on-screen. I don’t seem to have any other problems running other Amstrad games in WinAPE, but Zombi just refuses to run for me. And it’s driving me nuts! I’d like to know why. Even better: I’d like to find a fix. If you can help: please drop me a message either in the comments below or via the Contact page (I do receive messages from the Contact form and will respond to them appropriately).

If I can get the game running properly then I will be able to update these screenshots to better reflect the game as it should be seen! What you see here is as far as I can currently get… 🙂

More: Zombi on Wikipedia

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