The Junior Computer Brain of the year was a contest set up by the headmaster to find the smartest children in the country so that he could get them to guess the password / hack the prime minsters computer network and put him on the guest list to meet the prime minster where he could hypnotize him.
After hypnotizing Britain's prime minster the headmaster planned to be appointed his personal adviser where he would be able to travel with the prime minster and meet and hypnotize the other leaders of the world. The contest is the main plot point for the second book (The Prime Minister's Brain) and episodes 4,5 and 6 of series one of the TV adoptions of the books (The Demon Headmaster TV Series).
Octopus Dare Edit
DANGER!😱The first step of the Junior Computer Brain of the year contest was to beat the computer game, "Octopus Dare", which was extremely hard to beat as we can tell by the fact that out of a room full of children, Dinah was the only one to even get close to beating the game and winning.
"It's a treasure hunt," muttered Ian helpfully. "You have to steer your way through invisible shoals and then dive down and try to get past the -".
The first part of Octopus Dare is where you have to steer a ship through the water whilst moving around to avoid the shoals that appear out of no where as you get closer to them. Dinah figures out that the shoals don't come out randomly put are in a set pattern and that if you can work out the pattern then the player would be able to go straight through and not go the long way around. The other people in the room don't see the pattern. Once you've got past of the shoals a message appears: You have reached the Spot.You may now Dive by pressing 'D' "Mandy leaned forwards again and pressed 'D'. At once, the screen was filled with a pattern of long waving tentacles. They moved and twisted, twining in a complicated pattern of curves and loops, constantly altering and yet always keeping a balance, swelling and shrinking and dancing..."
The second part of the game is where the player has to get there submarine past the octopuses tentacles and down to the treasure chest near the bottom of the screen. This is the hardest part of the game where only Dinah, out of all the people in the computer club, is able to even keep going for longer than a couple of minutes. This stage of the game is first point where we see the headmasters octopuses which are used to hypnotise people, though the octopus seen at this stage of the game only seems to merely create an sort of obsession in the mind of people who see it and make them want to do nothing but play the game.
"Dinah could not look away. As the curves shifted and changed, her eye followed them. Backwards and forwards. Up and down. Crossing and uncrossing. It was a strange sensation. Watching them made her feel dreamy and excited, both at once. Octopus - s -s -s -s! murmured her mind."
Four days after being shown the game, and playing it none stop, Dinah beats the game and reaches the treasure and so beating the game. The new headmaster of the school is then called who confirms Dinah has won and promptly fills out the contest form for Dinah to go to the junior computer brain of the year contest,
Getting to the contest Edit
A week later whilst the Hunters are having breakfast the postman delivers letters including one for Dinah. The card says:
Dear Miss Hunter Congratulations on solving Octopus Dare. This makes you one of the contestants to qualify for the final round of the Junior Computer Brain of the Year competition.
The Final round will take place in London from August 28th to September 2nd at Saracen Tower, Turk's Island -
The letter goes onto say that the contestant needs to bring a Saladin microcomputer with them but Dinah hasn't got one and has never heard of them. Lloyd has and says that there brand new and cost about £500. Mrs Hunter apologizes to Dinah saying its just too much money to spend on the competition.
Influenced by the octopus on the card, a form of hypnotizing, Dinah panics and says she HAS to go to the contest and the hunters suggests selling items to get the cash. After arguing for a while Dinah is sent up to her room where free from the immediate contact with the octopus card she calms down and realizes she doesn't even want to go and wonders why she felt she had to go. Mrs Hunter comes up to her room and Dinah apologies. Mrs Hunter says that she's going to pawn off the mothers ring in order to get Dinah the microcomputer, Dinah refuses but Mrs Hunter wont budge, Dinah is going.
Dinah is scared of what happened to her when she looked at the card and is very unsure about the contest so she asks the other members of SPAT! to come along to, which they agree to come (Harvey and ingrid are forced to go).In order for all of them to go, the other members of SPAT! pretend to go and stay with Aunty Alice so that the parents will let them go. SPLAT catch the train on the 28th and get off at Turk's island whi ch they find out isn't a nice desert island like they pictured but an island in the traffic. They use a underground walkway to get to the island and come to Saracen Tower to meet The Brains.
Saracen Tower Edit
To be continued