Top Secret (magazine)
A Polish video game magazine which evolved from earlier computer magazine "Bajtek" and existed from 1990 to 1996. Top Secret was the first magazine of its kind in Poland, and quickly became a cult classic still fondly remembered today, mainly because of its editors' wacky sense of humor. It was characterized by huge amounts of inside jokes (sometimes the articles would descend into ranting about the editors' everyday life). The editors had huge freedom which would be unthinkable today.
In the beginning, Top Secret wasn't really a review mag - until 1994, due to the obsolete copyright law, software piracy was basically legal, so pirates were pretty much the sole source of games - and since they sold games at cheap prices, buying a bad game wasn't much of a loss. Thus, an average gamer needed a manual and a gameplay description more than a review (especially since knowledge of English was very scarce). Later on, the mag began actually rating the games, much to some readers' ire who claimed that reviews are for "snobbish magazines".
- Computer Wars: Most of the reader letters are Atari vs. Commodore 64 vs. PC vs. Amiga.
- Continuity Reboot: in 2002, the title was restarted by Axel Springer publishing house, with the best-known "original" editor-in-chief at the helm. It lasted for four issues.
- Media Research Failure: Well, the editors were living in a post-communist, poor country (where videogame consoles didn't appear until 1992); they were occasionally a bit... out of the loop regarding the videogame industry.
- Mascot: Starring in the comics, and sometimes replying to reader letters and writing articles. (They were originally created to cover up the lack of editors by an editor-in-chief who was pretty much making an entire issue by himself after the previous team left abruptly.)
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Except for the masthead, the editors all signed themselves with, and referred to each other with nicknames.
- Planet Eris: The setting of the comics. Indiana Jones, Duke Nukem, the Empire etc. all exist there.
- Sprite Comic / Machinomics
- The Rival: Secret Service, a rival magazine (helmed by Top Secret's former editor-in-chief and managing editor who left in 1992 to pursue their own career.) Since then, both magazines kept tossing thinly veiled Take Thats at each other.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Sir Haszak, the strategy game reviewer, loves pizza.