Gaming

This Amiga 3000 has quite the history • Eurogamer.net

By December 19, 2018 No Comments

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Quite a few people had an Amiga 3000 back in the early 90s – but there’s only one Amiga 3000 like this.

Mike Clarke, who worked at legendary UK game company Psygnosis from 1992 to 1999 doing audio work, rescued this particular Amiga 3000 from destruction after it had been placed down in a corridor, ready to be thrown out. Over 20 years later, Clarke is selling it on eBay – and it could go for close to 1000.

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The Amiga 3000 Mike Clarke rescued from destruction in the 90s.

According to Clarke, this Amiga 3000 was first used by artist Jeff Bramfitt, who scratched his initials in the top of the case in pen “just in case someone took it off his desk”.

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Jeff Bramfitt’s initials scratched into his old Amiga 3000.

Bramfitt used the machine to work on the title screens for Carthage, Infestation, Shadow of the Beast 2 and more classic Amiga games, but its headline claim to fame is it was used to create the original Amiga Lemmings intro and logo. Lemmings, which came out for the Amiga in 1991, was developed by DMA Design (now Rockstar North) and published by Psygnosis before the latter was bought by Sony.

Later, it was used for Microcosm (3DO, Mega-CD), Scavenger IV (aka Novastorm, Mega-CD, FM Towns), and unreleased games such as No Escape, a tie-in with the Ray Liotta film, aka Penal Colony for Mega-CD.

Files for all of these games and more remain on this Amiga 3000’s hard drive. “I think the above games were all in 1993, which was a very busy year because we got bought by Sony and alongside working on games by third-party developers, Sony pushed all of these film licenses onto us and gave us almost no time to make them,” Clarke said.

This Amiga 3000 is not without its problems, however. The floppy drive doesn’t work anymore and the hard drive is “temperamental”, which means you might have issues booting the thing up.

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Hands up if you remember DeluxePaint!

So why sell this Amiga 3000 now?

“I started to clear out my parent’s loft, which has got far too much of my old stuff in,” Clarke told Eurogamer. “It’s clear to me now that after having had this for over 20 years I’m not going to use it again and Amigas are now known to get damaged when dormant for too long from battery leakage. There is a little bit of corrosion on this one around the battery area. Luckily, not enough to kill the machine, but I think someone else might be in a better position to be able to clean it up and give it a longer life.

“The main impetus that actually got me in motion to sell it though is that I’m looking at starting a new business, so am trying to raise some money.”

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Mike Clarke outside the Psygnosis building.

At the time of publication, the listing on eBay for this Amiga 3000 has had seven bids, the highest of which is 770. Clarke told me he has no idea of the computer’s value, as he has no reference point.

“Fundamentally, it’s an ageing Amiga 3000 with a couple of issues that need looking at and it’s quite difficult to find the going rate for such a thing at the moment,” he said.

“Its real value lies in its history and that history is worth different things to different people. To one person, it might be worthless, to another it might be priceless. So much early gaming history has been lost mostly because, much like the BBC erasing Doctor Who tapes, nobody valued it when it was happening. I was the only person who saw the historical value in rescuing these machines and I also rescued over 800 development disks that were going to be binned at the time. Some of those disks contained all sorts of prototype and final game image files, the original data files from the Shadow of the Beast 2 intro, the pre-production animation for the Psygnosis Star Wars game that almost came to be, and early game versions. All of those would be lost, as would the files on the hard drive of this A3000.

“I listed it with a starting bid of 600 as to me, it’s an important machine and I know that someone who would pay at least that for it will look after it.”

So, do you fancy owning a piece of video game history, a unique and historically important working Psygnosis Amiga 3000? You’ll have to open your wallet if so. The eBay listing has two days left to run.



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