A Game on Vinyl: David El Gnomo (David the Gnome)

Do you remember David the Gnome? This Spanish animated series from the 80s had the honor of a video game on vinyl (and on cassette) in the original soundtrack of the series (in Spain).

Instead of repeating all the previous articles each time, I’ll refer you to the dedicated page, which explains what I do with vinyl records and lists all the pages containing programs, explanations, etc.


I first bought the vinyl… and I couldn’t convert it. I don’t know if it’s because of its condition (there’s a scratch), the file is quite long, or my way of doing it, but on this record, I absolutely failed. It’s surprising considering that ZX Spectrum programs often go through quite easily (I got the last two almost on the first try). So, I resorted to the cassette. After a simple conversion to mono, the file was created on the first try and it’s presumably the same as on the vinyl (at least, the audio part has the same length). There’s a little over 4 minutes of audio for about 48 KB of data. For archiving, the possibility of using a cassette is an advantage: the medium is more reliable over time than vinyl.

Vinyl cover

The cassette

With instructions

The tricky part here was playing. The instructions are in Spanish, but – more importantly – the ZX Spectrum is a bit odd on the keyboard. The emulation of the Kempston joystick interface works poorly with Fuse (or I don’t understand how it works) and the keyboard shortcuts are designed for the ZX Spectrum keyboard, quite different from modern keyboards. The solution, with Fuse on macOS, was to map the keys to the buttons of an old controller to recreate a directional pad. In theory, you can switch to a real joystick, but the program seems to use the axes of analog sticks and it works poorly.

Key configuration

I used A, B, X, and Y as arrows

The game is a puzzle: you have to rebuild the image by moving the blocks. It’s far from easy, I spent some time (sped up here) to do it. And I won’t even mention the ZX Spectrum sounds. To spare you the sounds worthy of 8 bits (Oh, WAIT!), I only looped it once.

Before loading (the emulator is too fast to see)

At launch


Another puzzle