Bandersnatch – is there a hidden game within a game?2nd January 2019
Black Mirror Bandersnatch has been out now for a while, and yet while the main endings have been found, many easter eggs and alternate paths to tiny additional clips are slowly being found bringing it to the approx. 5+hours Netflix have advised the as the total running time for all the film (only last night did I discover Llamasoft’s very own Jeff Minter cameoing in one such egg!). But did you know a couple of the main endings also lead to a bonus scene which contains more than it initially lets on?
The ending in question (limiting spoilers to as much as possible) finds Stefan back on the bus from the beginning of the story. However instead of this time pulling out the normal two music choices, he reveals a tape named ‘Bandersnatch’. For those who revel in the sounds of the 80s, when the tape is played many will have guessed that the erratic sounds were the opening block from a 8bit home microcomputer’s software pack, but which machine?
If you’ve been watching carefully through the episode you will have spotted at some point that the very game was slowly being coded (in BASIC!?!) on a ZX Spectrum. It’s that very machine which this code if recorded and played back on will unveil a simple screen image of a QR code.
Scanning that QR code gives viewers backdoor access to special part of the Tuckersoft webpage full of information on other games and lots of Black Mirror easter eggs. Gamers can also download the ‘Nohzdyve’ demo from here, as well.
‘Nohzdyve’ was created by Matt Westcott, one of the coding legends in the ZX Spectrum scene who was contacted month’s earlier by the shows producers to commission a couple of easter eggs for the project for die hard fans to track down.
In addition, the Crash team including artist Oliver Frey were asked to create Bandersnatch magazine covers to really give the show it’s true 80s heritage, given the completed game at the time would have been featured in the titles prestigious magazines pages (had image not gone under.. but that’s another documentary entirely!).
With the 80s high street look, the overall feel of the show and the extra work taken to truly immerse the viewers into the story, Black Mirror’s: Bandersnatch has been a work of true love by the team, and deserves to truly take some awards in the near future!