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Continuing the Olympian theme of last week when we looked at Track & Field, this week's Retro Corner is filled by Daley Thompson's Decathlon, a joystick-killing tribute to one of Great Britain's finest athletes.
Ocean Software, best known for its movie tie-ins, picked up the rights to the Track & Field format from Konami and teamed up with Thompson in a bid to capitalise on his gold medal success at the Olympic Games in 1980 and 1984.
The game was released for the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC in 1984, and differed slightly on each platform. The C64 version boasted the most colours, but the Speccy version looked great in spite of its limited palette.
Most of these events were a simple matter of hammering two keys or waggling a joystick frantically to gain momentum, with timing and angles of the essence. The game was infamously behind stacks of broken peripherals, not to mention a few wrist injuries. That 1500 metres required almost as much endurance as its real-life counterpart.
Players were given three lives - yes athletics in Daley Thompson's Decathlon was a matter of life and death - and failure to qualify in each event saw one of them deducted. The 1500 metres served as the final stage, but disappointingly, there was no medal podium sequence at the end; the game merely restarted from the beginning of day one.
It wasn't just sports that Daley Thompson's Decathlon gave an 8-bit makeover to, classic pieces of music were stripped down to their essence too. 'Rydeen' by Japanese electronic group Yellow Magic Orchestra was converted into a catchy series of bleeps, with Vangelis's Chariots of Fire theme pretty much butchered.
Despite being very similar to Track & Field in the gameplay stakes, the game was well received in the press. The Spectrum edition received particular acclaim, winning Crash magazine's 'Game of the Year' award in 1984 and picking up the gong for 'Best Arcade Style Game' at the Golden Joysticks.
So, if you want to celebrate Team GB's recent medal success with a damaged wrist and a busted controller, there is no better port of call than Daley Thompson's Decathlon. It may not look like a gold medal-winner any more, but it makes up for that in nostalgia value.
Do you have any fond memories of Daley Thompson's Decathlon? Post a comment below!