k1.spdns.de / Vintage / Sinclair / 82 / Peripherals / Lenslok /

Lenslok, ASAP Developments Ltd., UK

The Price of Magik.gif
The Price of Magik displaying a Lenslok pattern
Lenslok was a copy protection mechanism found in some computer games for the ZX Spectrum, and also for the Sinclair QL, 8-bit Atari, Commodore 64, MSX and Amstrad CPC. The most famous game to use it was Elite by Firebird.

The Lenslok was essentially a row of prisms arranged vertically in a plastic holder. At some points in a game, a two-letter code was displayed on the screen, but it was corrupted by being split into vertical bands which were then rearranged on screen. By viewing these bands through the Lenslok they were restored to their correct order and the code could be read and entered. The device was small enough when folded flat to fit next to an audio cassette in a standard case.

In order for the Lenslok to work correctly the displayed image had to be the correct size. This meant that before each use the software had to be calibrated to match the size of the TV screen. Additionally, the device could not be calibrated at all for very large or very small televisions – very small TV sets. So perfidiously this probably applied only to all Sinclair televisions. B-))

Software that used the Lenslok system:

ACE                           by Cascade Games Ltd
Elite by Firebird
Fighter Pilot by Digital Integration (8-bit Atari version only)
The Graphic Adventure Creator by Incentive Software (Amstrad version only)
Jewels of Darkness by Level 9 Computing
Moon Cresta by Incentive Software (Amstrad version only)
OCP Art Studio by Rainbird
Supercharge compiler by Digital Precision (Basic compiler for the Sinclair QL)
The Price of Magik by Level 9 Computing
Tomahawk by Digital Integration
TT Racer by Digital Integration


Approx. 500 boxes of Elite were shipped with a wrong version of the Lenslok.


Lenskey is a Windows software which can decode the scrambled images and help playing Lenslok protected games with emulators which do not support it. See link below.


Name Letzte Änderung Länge 
ACE (Cascade)/ 2019-08-20 05:25 10 
Elite (Firebird)/ 2019-08-20 05:25 24 
Jewels of Darkness (Rainbird)/ 2019-08-22 19:21
The OCP Art Studio 48k (OCP)/ 2019-08-20 05:25 12 
The Price of Magik (Level 9)/ 2019-08-22 19:23 10 
Tomahawk (Digital Integration)/ 2019-08-20 05:25 15 
TT Racer (Digital Integration)/ 2019-08-20 05:25
Lenslok - Elite.jpg
size: 660 × 340
2013-10-11 15:41 41556 
Lenslok - Tomahawk.jpg
size: 658 × 354
2013-10-11 15:41 53910 
Lenslok for Elite.jpg
size: 275 × 183
2013-10-11 15:22 10903 
Lenslok Instruction Sheet.pdf 2013-10-11 15:19 72338 
The Price of Magik.gif
size: 320 × 240
2013-10-12 20:42 2308 
LensKey 99 

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