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Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only


Game Type          : Arcade; Split-screen Classic Two Player

Author               : Kevin Blake

Standalone Release(s)  : 1989: SPY VS SPY, Tyensoft, £9.95

Compilation Release(s) : None

Stated compatibility    : Electron Side A, BBC Side B

Actual compatibility    : As stated

Supplier            : TYNESOFT, Unit 3 Addison Industrial Estate, Blaydon, TYNE &                   WEAR NE21 4TE. Tel: 091 414 4611

Disc compatibility     : Unknown




"Outstanding High-Resolution Character Animation For One or Two Players Playing Simultaneously"


"This game marks a new era in BBC/ELECTRON programming, a product of unequalled quality that will become a legend of its time.


"A brilliant and unique split-screen layout which allows both players to play independently.


"The action starts from screen one, no need to wait your turn as you guide the white and black spies through the inter-connecting rooms of the Foreign Embassy. You'll need to keep one eye on your opponent, though, as you set (and defuse) a variety of bobby traps, engage in club to club combat and frantically search for the Top Secret Briefcase, but don't forget to collect your passport, secret plans, money and a key which must be obtained in order to escape before your plane takes off."



Welcome to the MAD world of SPY Vs SPY. You will quickly appreciate what is going on, the strategies and tactics come later!


This booklet will help you to get to grips with some of the tactics and includes some important knowledge.


Created by Antonio Prohias, the secret agents dressed in black and white first appeared in MAD magazine in 1960. Their antics as they battle for supremacy over one another, have been enjoyed by millions in paperback as well, since 1972.


TYNESOFT is proud to introduce the first official SPY Vs SPY computer game.


The game can be tackled by two players - one seeking to outwit the other - or one player against a computer-controlled agent. Both appear on the screen independently and both play simultaneously, planting booby traps, engaging in battles with their clubs when in the same room, chasing one another and generally getting in the way as much as possible.


An adventure with a real live opponent out to thwart your every plan and initiate your very destrucion.


The ultimate action strategy game, SPY Vs SPY introduces two new computer game features to help you make the most of the MADcap action.


SIMULVISION utilises a revolutionary split-screen display depicting both players' activities simultaneously. Even when playing alone against the computer, you can see what he is up to.


SIMULPLAY lets both players play simultaneously. There's no need to wait your turn as you travel throughout the maze of interconnecting rooms. The search goes on for the Top-Secret briefcase and both spies must keep a weather eye on what their opponent is up to, while planning and dashing around themselves.



Game Controls

White Spy (Player 1)

Z - Left,   X - Right,   F - Up,   C - Down,   G - Manipulate object/strike opponent


Black Spy (Player 2/Computer player)

M - Left,   < - Right,   ; - Up,   > - Down,   * - Manipulate object/strike opponent



f0 .............                       Number of Players

                1/2 and quit game when spies are on separate screens

f1 .............                       Difficulty level i.e. number of rooms in a maze and the time to search them in 1 - 7

f2 .............                       Music on and off toggle

<SPACE> ........                       STARTS GAME


Object Manipulation

First, move within range of any object (border of box will flash). Then press the manipulate key. Any object found within a room can be opened or lifted and may reveal one of the hidden items you are looking for. If you're not so lucky, it will activate a BOOBY TRAP, blowing you to smithereens...


Opening Doors

Again, move within a range of any open or closed door, press the Manipulation key and it will close or open.


Game Elements


The top half of the screen monitors the actions of the White Spy, the bottom half depicts the Black Spy (either player two or the computer). The activities of both Spies are revealed to both players in the rooms shown on the left side of the screen. The right side is reserved for the Trapulator and its six icons.



With the clock running, we didn't think it was fair to make players wait to take turns. So, Simulplay.


Since both Spies' activities take place out in the open, the challenge includes watching and remembering what the other Spy does while you go about your business.


Game Objective

The ultimate objective is to escape from the embassy with the Top Secret Briefcase with your passport, money, secret plans and the key. If this complete victory is not possible before your time runs out, your Spy will content himself by out-scoring his rival.


Hand-To-Hand Combat

When both Spies enter a common room, they will have the option of attacking the other player. At this point, with only one of the two SIMULVISION screens active, the Spies wield clubs and the players use the keyboard to control both Spy and club, attempting to land several solid blows to the other Spy's body. If either Spy had the briefcase when this confrontation began, the winner can now grab it and run.


In the combat mode, Spies cannot search objects, or use the TRAPULATOR (no map or traps). Doors, however, still work. If Spies are not within range of any object when pushing the Manipulate Key they will weild clubs with which they can hit the other Spy in the stomach.


Hitting the other Spy weakens him, and about five solid blows are needed to "kill" him. However, Spies will recover strength over a period of time.


If a Spy is carrying anything when he enters a common room, the object is lost or hidden in the common room, depending on the type of object. Traps and remedies are lost, while inventory items and the briefcase are hidden somewhere in the room. The winner of the combat sequence can search the object out, and either regain or gain possession.


NOTE : At the beginning of each new game, both Spies will start out in the same room only a few steps from each other. So keep your guard up.



Both players start with equal time to travel the maze, collect required objects, search for the briefcase and exit the embassy before their plane takes off. However, there are several time penalties. If you are the victim of a booby trap or the loser in a bout of hand-to-hand combat the clock will continue to count down even though you are 'unconscious'. These losses of time can never be regained.


Both players can never run out of time at the same time. Therefore one player will outlive the other. The surviving player will continue his search for the briefcase, required objects and the exit. If you are playing against the computer and the computer has time remaining, you can abort the mission by pressing f0. Even after your Spy's demise, the traps he has set remain. The game is by no means over just because one player's time has run out.


Booby-Traps (See Trap And Remedy Chart)

As players move through the maze of rooms, they may select any of the five booby-traps. The booby-trap arsenal contains: Bombs, Springs, Buckets of Water, Guns and Time Bombs. The Time Bomb cannot be carried or neutralized! The Gun and the Bucket of Water can only be attatched to a door. All other traps may be placed behind anything found in any room.


Spies can carry traps in and out of rooms, placing them where they wish when they are ready.

1.  Hold the Manipulation key, you have just accessed the TRAPULATOR. Observe the large arrow.

2.  Move the arrow about the TRAPULATOR using the Left and Right key.

3.  Position the arrow over the booby-trap of your choice.

4.  Press the Manipulation key. The booby-trap is now held by your Spy.

5.  Position the Spy in front of the hiding place you have selected.

6.  Watch for a flash in your Spy's room. This flash indicates the Spy is properly positioned.

7.  Press the Manipulation key. The booby-trap will disappear and you will hear a beep. This indicates the trap has been set.


Once a trap has been set, either Spy can set it off! A Time Bomb will go off in fifteen seconds once selected. Any Spy(Spies) in the room at the time of detonation will be zapped. Unlike other traps, the Time Bomb is not set off by the searching of the Spies. They come in handy if you are being chased. The other player will be awarded points for each trap set off by the opposition. if the bobytrapee had been in possession of the briefcase, the other Spy can use this time to attempt to locate the victim and grab the briefcase.


To add insult to injury, when a player sets off a trap, he gets zapped while the other Spy laughs hysterically.


Remedies (See Trap And Remedy Chart)

Except for the Time Bomb, each of the traps has a disarming remedy hidden throughout the maze. Each type of remedy is always hidden in the same type of location. For example, the scissors are used to disarm the Gun. Scissors are only found in the First Aid kits hanging on the back walls. As with traps, remedies can be picked up and carried from room to room. Spies can not carry more than one thing at a time EXCEPT inside the briefcase.


Booby-Traps And Remedies


TRAP      SYMBOL                        REMEDY        LOCATION

Bomb      Everywhere EXCEPT with door   Water bucket  Red Fire Box on Left Wall

Spring    Everywhere EXCEPT with door   Wire Cutters  White Tool Box on Right Wall

Water     Door ONLY                     Umbrella      Coat Rack


Gun with  Door ONLY                     Scissors      First Aid Kit on Back Wall

a string    

Time Bomb ANYWHERE                      None!         N/A



Located to the right of each of the rooms is a calculator-like TRAPULATOR. it serves four basic functions. You can use it to SELECT BOOBY TRAPS; pinpoint your LOCATION, gauge your TIME remaining and check INVENTORY.


Across the top of the Trapulator is a digital clock which indicates the time left until your plane takes off (with or without you)! Below the clock are six buttons. On the first five, selectable booby-traps are indicated. However, the sixth button in the lower right-hand corner calls up a map of the embassy you have broken into.


The map will appear in the room that your Spy was occupying at the time the map was requested. The room your Spy is in will be the one blinking on and off. Black Rooms indicate that your Spy has been in that room at least once. Any required inventory items not yet collected are represented by a dot. The map does NOT tell you what item is in a particular room, just that something you are looking for is there. Finally, the Trapulator displays items you have sucessfully collected as you ready your escape. The map does NOT show the location of the other Spy.




1 : Warning Indicator                        ___________| 1 |___

2 : Timer                                   / /_______2_______\ \

3 : Bomb                                    |  ___   ___   ___  |

4 : Spring                                  | /   \ /   \ /   \ |

5 : Water Bucket                            | | 3 | | 4 | | 5 | |

6 : Gun & Sting                             | \___/ \___/ \___/ |

7 : Time Bomb                               | /   \ /   \ /   \ |

8 : Map                                     | | 6 | | 7 | | 8 | |

9 : Passport                                | \___/ \___/ \___/ |

A : Money                     ______________|   _____________   |

B : Key                 Inventory Monitor ___\  \_9__A_B__C_/  /   

C : Secret Plans                              |_______________|



Your mission being to escape the opposition's embassy, Top Secret briefcase in hand, it is important to remember that all else is but a mere distraction. Before time runs out, you must manage to find and keep the briefcase, locate the only exit and run for your plane with all of the following: PASSPORT, travelling MONEY, the secret PLANS and the KEY.


Placing An Object In The Briefcase

In order to pick up any of the four required items i.e Passport, Money, Key or Secret Document, place the briefcase into the file, picture, etc. that holds that item and then remove the briefcase, the item will automatically go into the briefcase.



There is only one way out of each embassy building. The exit door is marked. You can not leave without all of the required inventory, the airport security guard will see to that!                              



At the conclusion of each game, players will be awarded the title or rank they have earned. Bonus points and time penalties are calculated by the computer. Rather than indicate a numeric score, you will get "ranked".                    



Instructions' Source   : SPY VS SPY (Tynesoft) Mini-manual


Review (Electron User) - "Superb Spy Thriller"

My name is Bond, Roundhay Bond of the tea service and when ELECTRON USER needed someone to review Tynesoft's new game SPY VS SPY, I was their man. This is one of those pieces of software you pick up, play, and after 20 minutes of fruitless fumbling, concede it's better to read the instructions first. This is because it is more complex than it first appears and requires a lot of thought and pre-planning.


Take my advice: Don't rush until you know what you are doing. The game can be played by either one or two players, the Electron controlling your opponent if you select the one player option.


SPY VS SPY employs a clever technique it calls simulvision - a system where the screen is split horizontally across the middle, dividing it into two equal sections.


The two spies move independently of each other and their location is shown in each half of the screen - one at the top, one at the bottom. When both are in the same room only one location is shown. Although similar systems have been used on the Electron (DUNJUNZ springs to mind), SPY VS SPY's display is much clearer and this makes the game easier on the eye and nicer to play.


Each room is drawn in 3D as if viewed from the front. This makes it easier to judge the relative positions of objects than other 3D games I have played.


To the right of each playing area is a peculiar looking device called a trapulator. This displays the time remaining, the objects carried, objects found and a booby trap selector.


The aim of the game is simply to recover four particular objects (I won't tell you which, it'll spoil the game) from a rival embassy, pop them in a briefcase and escape back home on an aeroplane.


On the face of it, this may seem simple, but don't forget the other spy is trying to do exactly the same thing, and he's not going to make it any easier for you.


The objects are hidden in a variety of places: Behind paintings, in cupboards and so on. A nice feature is the way they are shifted around when they're being examined by one of the spies.


As well as the objects you are searching for, you can run into booby traps left by your rival. If you are fast enough you can see where he places them, courtesy of the clever simulvision and either avoid or disarm them.


Unfortunately, you can only pick up and carry one object or tool at once and if you are holding the wrong one, poof, the little guy floats off to that great embassy in the sky, while the other laughs himself silly.


A very useful booby trap is the time bomb, as this can't be disarmed by either spy. Once selected and dropped you have 15 seconds to leave the room or you'll go up too. The trouble with booby traps is that either player can trigger them, so don't forget when you put them.


The control keys are a little odd, but remarkably well placed, although the Electron's keyboard is a bit cramped at the best of times for two hands, let alone four. The game is compatible with the First Byte joystick interface so it may be possible to have one player on keyboard and one on joystick.


All other add-ons, such as Turbo Drivers, for example, should be disabled, as the game takes a long time to load and due to its complexity, can easily be crashed by such units.


For graphics and sound the game is one of the best produced for the Electron and is a credit to the whole programming team.


Overall, I have to say I have never had so much fun trying to outwit a computer at its own game and the sight of your opponent being electrocuted by touching a booby trapped doorknob is hilarious.


Due to its complexity, it's not a game for younger children, although it's already caused a few squabbles among my family over who plays next. Highly recommended.


Sound ........................... 8

Graphics ........................ 9

Playability .................... 10

Value for money ................ 10

Overall ........................ 10


Mark Smiddy, ELECTRON USER 4.12