Last modified on Tuesday, September 14, 1999.

[This page has a black background for nostalgic reasons...]


The Other Dead Smurf Software Page!

When my friend Andy and I were in high school in the early '80s, we both shared the hobby of having Apple ][+s, and we both held the opinion that Smurfs were some sort of plot from hell.

Dead Smurf Software was born.

Chapter 1: Smurfbutcher Bob

Our first endeavor was Dino Smurf, a modified version of Dino Eggs, by David H. Schroeder. This was mainly because, as we were poking about with a program that'd dump a disk's contents to the hi-res graphics screen, we found that most of Dino Egg's graphics were stored as a single picture file. Hey, cool! It was quick work to modify this, and bizarrely flashing blue (and red?) smurfs were soon creeping around the screen!

One Smurf,

two Smurf,

red Smurf,

blue Smurf...

For some reason the Canadian armed forces soon joined in...

and we eventually managed to locate and modify the opening text and title screen as well:

We never were able to solve the red-smurf problem, as the game just drew the pictures to the screen wherever it liked. (The Apple ][ hi-res graphics screen was dependent on location: Anything blue that was offset one pixel horizonally became red, and vice-versa.) With the original (white) spider graphics this never was a problem. But whenever a smurf happened to hit a spot one pixel offset from the position we drew our blue smurfs, hey, red smurfs! Such is life.

Chapter 2: Operation Smurfkrieg

Riding this creative high, we next set our sights on none other than Muse's Castle Wolfenstein, by Silas Warner!

Andy masterminded the title screen graphics.

We learned that Wolfenstein's graphics were stored as a software font, and just 'printed' to the HGR screen. A bit of pixel twiddling, and the Nazis became (ugly, skinny) smurfs with guns.

But speaking German. Hmm, this won't do. A bit more fiddling with the files on the disk, and lo and behold, it turns out that the sounds for Wolfenstein were compatible with Muse's sound digitizer The Voice! A Saturday morning VCR session later, the smurfs were now speaking in (rattily digitized but pretty damn cool for 1983) smurfy voices! More sector-editing, and the opening monologue and incidental text had that old smurf theme. (Again, Canada figured into this somehow...)


Chapter 3: Skysmurf?

The third in our (more or less) intended Smurfbutcher Bob trilogy was to be Skysmurf, a hack of the fly-around-and-shoot-stuff game Skyfox. Unfortunately, the technical problems we encountered (e.g. where'd they hide those graphics?), coupled with the pesky need to go off to (different) college(s), doomed Skysmurf to an early death. Nothing remains of this phantom project, mainly because that's exactly what we accomplished.



Intermission: 8, 16, 32...

With the close of The 8-bit Age, there was a lull in smurf-bashing. Andy got his doctorate and went to Chicago, and I got married in Japan. Our 'master disks' (Smurfenstein even had a printed-out disk sleeve) died that death that old degrading floppies die, and Dead Smurf Software was believed lost.
But hark, what hath the tide of evolving CPUs wrought?

Chapter 4: World domination

It is the dawn of The Age Of Emulation, and Dead Smurf Software returneth!
With the release of "Stop The Madness" on the Macintosh, those of us who held to the torch of Apple-][-dom were finally able to get disgustingly nostalgaic. Hunting around a bit, to my surprise I managed to find disk images of Dino Smurf and Smurfenstein! They had been saved from oblivion and were back in my trembling hands...

So, Smurfenstein lives! Dino Smurf lives! And what were once a pair of floppies in Andy's basement in Michigan spread, almost died, and were now reborn. There are now no fewer than 2 Dead Smurf Software pages on the planet: Andy has his Smurfenstein page in Chicago, and you're reading mine here in Japan. That's pretty good positioning.. we each have a planetary hemisphere covered. Wow.

Bonus chapter: "Cracked"??!?

Smurfenstein had also been cracked.

It's not as if it were protected to begin with, but that didn't stop 'em. Well hey, if we can unilaterally modify Wolfenstein, I guess they can prejudicially modify Smurfenstein. (But ours was funny, so there, nyah.) The two BBSs newly immortalized on Andy's title screen, The 'FBI' and Camelot, are both presumably long since gone. No doubt you'd get someone's mom on the phone now, "Oh yes, I remember little Willy used to have a computer, back before he joined that cult."


Do you have any plans to create more Dead Smurf Sofware?

Er, no. (:



For the Dead Smurf Western Hemisphere secret headquarters, go to Andy's page.