In April 1982, the computer magazine 'Computing Today' published a multi-system, modular computer game called 'The Valley' by Henry Budget, Peter Freebrey, Peter Green and Ron Harris (see below). Although written for the Commodore PET, the annotated listing allowed (fairly) easy adaptation to other systems, and my friends and I set to work converting it to the Sharp MZ-80K and (in my case) the BBC Microcomputer. We spent hours and hours playing it - and now you can, too!
I wrote this version in the very wonderful BBC Basic for Windows, as a way of
flexing my programming muscles after years of disuse.
This is now a full-blown Retro experience, which you
play with authentic PET graphics or the commercial BBC
version with fancy(ish) defined characters. You can
also add or remove the various variations that were
later published in the magazine. And what's more,
there is a PDF containing scans of the original
You can choose to download a ZIPped bundle containing the
programme (for Windows only, I'm afraid), source code and
scans giving the background story and the Valley
Variations, or just the programme by itself. The other file
is the complete annotated BASIC listing for the Commodore
PET, scanned from Computing today magazine, if you fancy
having a go at converting it yourself!
Click one of the links below - and travel back to the
Golden Age of Home Computing!
Download The Valley
bundle here (17MB).
Download The Valley programme (without
documentation) here (128K)
Download The Valley complete BASIC listing
NEW! There was a terrific article inspired by this page
posted at Register Hardware by Tony Smith - read it
here. In the comments is something
which finally sheds light on the original
so for those who aren't getting long in the tooth, here's a
bit more background! I'm Henry Budgett, but back then I was
the Editor of CT, and there were originally four in the
programming team for the Valley: myself, Peter Freebrey,
Peter Green and Ron Harris. The two Peter's did the clever
stuff, I did the stuff round the edges and all the
conversion into what we called Universal BASIC plus the
article and Ron essentially project managed as he was the
never really imagined that the thing would take off in the
way that it did - it was the spark that launched the whole
of CT's software operation that I moved onto after the
magazine passed into Peter Green's hands. Somewhere I have
every single copy I ever worked on from Issue 1 - if they
haven't turned to dust!
The whole story would take far too long to unravel as much
time (and beer) has passed since those heady days in
Charing Cross Road. Three of us, Ron has long disappeared,
still occasionally meet for a Rulers of Light reunion
dinner but it's a mark of our passing youth that the old
Pizza Express in Soho no longer hears the standard order
for pizza of choice plus two toppings for starters (served
with bottle of wine per person) followed by a second round
of pizza and then pudding, coffees and brandy... Try that
now and it would be call for three ambulances!"
another reconstruction for Windows of The Valley can be
found here: http://www.robsons.org.uk/archive/www.classicgaming.com/studio2/valley/valley.htm.
This has colour and user-defined graphics, so looks a bit
fancier (if less authentic!).