C is for…Centipede

You can read the genesis of this A-Z here.

Now onto C!

I don’t have my computer because my eldest has taken over the room where my computer Is so I am having to dictate this voice to text because I’m not very fast at typing on my phone.

anyway, whete were we. Oh yes, C.

C is for Centipede as I mentioned in the title.

As it turns out, Centipede is not a game I enjoyed. In fact, I bloody hated it.

It was difficult, far too fast moving, confusing, but more than anything it had a track ball as a controller which when you’re 11 years old might look pretty cool but you soon realise that you have neither the dexterity nor the hand eye coordination to be any good at all.

It matters to me though because I remember very clearly moving to South Africa and there being a hotel nearby and in the foyer was centipede.

It was supposed to be for hotel guests only but occasionally you could sneak in and if you weren’t too unruly and especially if you were on your own then there was a jolly good chance you might get to play it. The excitement soon wore off though when you realise just how difficult it was, and oh how unrewarding. But then there you are stuck in this horrible limbo because this was the only game that was in the lobby of the hotel, so you didn’t have a choice of anything else.

Even now I can remember playing it over and over again just because it was there , and it was new, and made loud noises and had shiny lights and it was just part of this wonderful new world of video games that was there for us to conquer. It’s a bit like asteroid really, there was just something about it that I found almost impossible to love but I still played it far more than I ought to have. We were compelled, drawn in and consumed by the hunt for the high score…

Bloody stupid trackball Centipede
Fuck you Centipede

Now if you want a list of games beginning with the letter C that I absolutely adored, well that was pretty easy. I had to reduce it to just a handful, And like each of the games I’ve talked about so far I can remember where I played them and when I played them and how I felt at the time.

Secunda, where I grew up, had a shopping centre and in that shopping centre was one of the many sort of café places you would get in South Africa which were effectively a combination of a takeaway and a small supermarket. In the entrance to almost every one of these cafes you would find a number of arcade machines.


I played both Commando and Cabal at the place which we called the ‘OK shopping centre’.


I was probably about 14 or 15 and I clearly remember one day having spent a couple of hours with a few friends playing Cabal, walking out and there was this girl who I thought was rather lovely. Her name was Lisa.

For a reason which escapes me even now I started to swear profusely. Just pointlessly dropping s and f bombs. Maybe even a c bomb.

Perhaps I thought that by swearing it made me some sort of bad-ass. I must have figured that girls were drawn to filthy mouthed young men. I also remember that I was wearing a pair of white shoes that day, mocassin kinda things, so I’m not really sure that the combination of some sort of strange sailor shoes and profanity was ever going to catch any young lady’s eye.

Might explain why I was almost 17 before I got my first girlfriend.

Maybe if I’d offered some cunting bastard flowers that might have worked. No? You’re probably right…

It’s funny that even 35 years later I remember that moment so very clearly and thinking, what a stupid twat you are Michael.

Anyway let’s finish this piece with mentioning Circus Charlie which was an absolutely brilliant little side scrolling game where you were a circus clown and you had to jump through hoops and ride lions and do all sorts of ridiculous things. It was just great fun and pretty easy and it made you think you could achieve great things.

Circus Charlie

And then of course there is Chopper Lifter, which was an absolutely stunning helicopter shooter kinda thing and my God I spent so many hours playing that game. I played that after school down at the Palm Tree shops for what seemed like years and whilst I was never any good even now when I play it the memories come flooding back and every pixel and Beep is a memory from my childhood


Happy days.

Author: Michael

Husband, dad,(ex)programmer, comic collector and proud Yorkshireman. I have no idea why im here or why im writing but i rather enjoy it. no great fan of punctuation;

9 thoughts on “C is for…Centipede”

  1. My entry for C would be ‘Clowns’. One of my earliest memories is playing that with my older brother on his Commodore 64. Reckon I’d only have been about 5 or 6. Great game 😊🖤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My entry for C would be Crazy Climbers where you have a climber climbing up a building avoiding evil men dropping flower pots on his head, birds pooping and King Kong. I think you would have like it.

    Liked by 1 person

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