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The Commodore 64 Appreciation Thread

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Wizball is still one of my favourite musical tracks of all time full stop.

 

More power to him if he's enjoying his current job, I think we can all sympathise with having to remake ourselves every so often. But it's a pity he's not making commerical music anymore. Wizball and Parallax were epic pieces. (The soundtrack to Parallax was much better than the game itelf and the only reason I loaded it up.)

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So what are your first games on the C64?

 

My introduction was the excellent Gridrunner. My mum's boyfriend had a C64 and one day we were at a department store where they were selling at discount Human Engineered Software carts.

 

And this is what we bought.

 

34991-gridrunner-commodore-64-front-cove

 

34993-gridrunner-commodore-64-media.jpg

 

I still have this cart somewhere.

 

What did we get when we plugged it in? Centipede on speed playing on a Tron style grid with X / Y fighters shooting at us from the side and the bottom and pods that would disintigrate over time. Those sound effects were so damn meaty.

 

 

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I actually think my first game might have been Elite. We had a C16, but a mate of my brother brought his breadbin C64 round to ours one day. I'm sure Elite was one of the first things he put on. It's the thing I remember him putting on, certainly.

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Apart from seeing games playing in Boots or WH Smiths I didn't get a C64 until the autumn of 1989. I remember the evening clearly. The first game I loaded up was 720 Degrees, not a particularly brilliant start but it was just exciting to see the chunky graphics and hear that (pretty rubbish, in hindsight) music. I then moved onto a tape where you loaded a fastloader and wound the tape on to a selection of old games including Blue Max, Impossible Mission and Boulder Dash, the latter just blew me away.

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3 hours ago, Unofficial Who said:

So what are your first games on the C64?

 

I believe ours came with the "Commodore Sports Pack":

 

250px-Csp.png

 

The football game had the most absurd tape multiload I've seen, and matches were a complete mess, but Run The Gauntlet and Basket Master were good fun. :)  

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When I got my Spectrum for Xmas 1984, I used to buy games from a small, independent computer games shop (which only lasted about a year or two). But they had some demo computers setup and I remember the C64 having Impossible Mission on it. I was completely blown away by how incredible it was. Couldn't wait for the Spectrum conversion, which I remember being not bad but I knew it wasn't anywhere near as good as the C64 original.

 

When I did eventually get a C64, I remember getting a copy of "History in the Making", US Gold's compilation, which was brilliant - it some great games from the early years of US Gold. 

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My C64 came with International Soccer on cartridge. I played it so much I dreamt about it. My older brother was working so bought Chiller and Daley Thompson”s Decathlon soon after. Which we broke the terrible bundled Commodore branded joystick playing.

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My first boss used to run Terminal Software.  Apparently some programmer came to him with a brilliant footy game so he bought it on the spot.   Turned out the "programmer" had just pirated International Soccer.

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23 hours ago, Unofficial Who said:

So what are your first games on the C64?

 

 

Gridrunner, International Soccer, Scramble, Impossible Mission and a football game called The Boss.  Which, if you played enough seasons, had a name generator that started off with your team having a player called Robson and then would slowly add in Dobson, Jobson, Bobson until the team was full.

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First game on the 64 was Elite. I had a Spectrum before and realised compute power wasn't the 64s strong point. Very flickery vectors. Docking computer music was great though when it didn't kill you. Remember setting the docking computer going and making a drink to come back to a game over screen.... :)

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23 hours ago, gone fishin' said:

When I did eventually get a C64, I remember getting a copy of "History in the Making", US Gold's compilation, which was brilliant - it some great games from the early years of US Gold. 

The Christmas I got my disk drive, I got this compilation with it. Loved it.

 

I remember Beach Head 2 being particularly good in 2 player mode. And of course Spy Hunter, Gauntlet, Raid Over Moscow, Impossible Mission, Bruce Lee, World Games... Amazing compilation.

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On 21 March 2019 at 10:32, gone fishin' said:

 

in honour of Martin Galway's outstanding musical achievements on the Commodore 64 here's nearly an hour of his music!

 

 

jump to here to listen to his great version of "It's a Kind of Magic" from Highlander (the music and the cover art were the only good things about that game!)

 

Reading up on him, his last job was Audio Director for Star Citizen. It says something when driving a taxi is more fun and rewarding.

 

When Martin Galway left Sensible Software, he went to the USA to join Origin. So he was working with a former colleague on Star Citizen...

 

 

On 20 March 2019 at 21:51, gone fishin' said:

Nah, it wasn’t Road Rash... it was Skitchin’!!! 

 

Remember Skitchin’???

 

Its the forgotten Road Rash on Skates game from the 90s (brought to you by the developers of Road Rash)

 

 

 

yeah, Skitchin totally stole all the ideas from street surfer

 

(nobody remembers Skitchin)

 

Retro Gamer remembers Skitchin' - check out the Making Of article in issue 192 out now...

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First game I played was Ninja but I had the Hollywood Pack and the Quiz Show games pack too. Hundreds of hours playing Blockbusters with my Bro and his Wife.

 

 

 

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I'd never been more disappointed in a game since Vigilante. Just impossible to win and no fun whatsoever. I think it's the worst game of all time.

 

 

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26 minutes ago, dave7g said:

There's a fantastic blog that is only about c64 compilation big boxes. I had a lot of these and only remembered some of them when I saw them.

 

http://compilation64.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

Yeah, it's a brilliant blog as unfortunately Lemon64 doesn't have any information on compilations (unlike the Spectrum with Spectrumcomputing.co.uk which does have compilation info). 

 

I've based a lot of my recent purchases on that blog, deciding to build up compilations rather than individual games. What's really interesting is just how the compilations progressed over the years as tape duplication quality improved and the overall value of games decreased (meaning more games per tape).

 

You start off with lots of 4/5 game compilations in jewel tape cases from around 85/86 like They Sold a Million, Epyx Epics, Five Star Games, Best of Beyond etc before in 87 you moved onto the big cardboard box compilations like Magnificent Seven (maybe the greatest compilation ever!), Taito Arcade Hits, 10 Great Games, Game Set and Match 1 and 2 with the number of games per compilation increasing. Meanwhile you got your Beau Jolly compilations like 20 Chartbusters cramming loads of games onto tapes. Some of the boxes are ridiculous - Game Set and Match 1 is massive, 10 Great Games is a strange mix of huge box and polystyrene. 

 

Then at the end you got a couple of cracking compilations from Beau Jolly - Big Box and Big Box 2 - each had 30 games on them, with the first mostly Activision or Electric Dreams releases and the second a mix of Thalamus, Hewson and a few others. I managed to pick up both of those for not too much money.

 

There's only a couple of annoying things with compilations. First, often the instructions are not the greatest - they're either tiny (try reading the Aliens map in Five Star Games III when it's the size of a cassette) or they just don't even bother with them, often missing out any background story to just give the game controls (meaning you still have no idea what you're supposed to be doing!).Beau Jolly are particularly bad at that and Big Box has to be possibly the worst instructions I've ever seen. In parts it's like they've photocopied the original instructions (so it's almost ineligible due to the size), it's missing key parts (like the Aliens map) or worst they got the YTS kid to type them up on a typewriter! Thankfully you've got the internet now, but it must have been annoying back in 1991 when it was released.

 

Here's some incredible examples of Big Box's "instructions"....

 

1137090194_Screenshot2019-03-26at12_52_21.png.6aa8b2f1cadcc339d28cdc5626c40b09.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

1477058741_Screenshot2019-03-26at12_52_35.png.ed08c4d88a42fa32bdec2eea9e5c82ff.png

 

989496495_Screenshot2019-03-26at12_53_13.thumb.png.98b405133f95e9394162d9fd68b2d76f.png

 

1377327743_Screenshot2019-03-26at12_53_39.thumb.png.0c83d2f4859c01fe17c52cf8a1925dab.png

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That's amazing!

 

I always found at least one game per compilation just wouldn't load, or would load once every 15 tries. Predator was one off the top of my head. 

 

I've seen a few comps in my local retro shop, was tempted but I don't own a c64 anymore.

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Magnificent Seven was amazing value. Had that on the Amstrad back in the day.

On C64 though I still have a tape copy of The Hits volume one, I don't think there's a really bad game on there.

Also worth the bother were all the Quattro compilations from Codies, amazing value at the time.

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Our first compilation was Soft Aid. We didn't have many games then so it was a bargain for a fiver. I mainly remember playing Gumshoe a lot but most of the other got a fair bit of TV time.

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5 hours ago, carleton said:

Our first compilation was Soft Aid. We didn't have many games then so it was a bargain for a fiver. I mainly remember playing Gumshoe a lot but most of the other got a fair bit of TV time.

It also had Kokotoni Wilf on it. Not a good game but I got obsessed with it and learnt every screen by heart. I still have nightmares about entering one particular screen at the wrong angle then losing all of my lives in succession on a monk. 

 

 

What the duck is a “Kokotoni” or a “Wilf”? Does it actually mean anything?

 

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Did anyone have the Codemasters CD compilation? It came with cables to connect your C64 to the audio output of a CD player.

Always wanted that as a kid, but my Dad wasn’t keen on me having the C64 connected to the “big telly” and stereo.

 

This video is the only decent one I could find and sadly it’s not in English...

 

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16 hours ago, dave7g said:

That's amazing!

 

I always found at least one game per compilation just wouldn't load, or would load once every 15 tries. Predator was one off the top of my head. 

 

 

 

A blessing. Predator was a bad bad game.

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7 hours ago, Monkeyspill said:

30_games_front.JPG

This brings back some memories. It was a mixture of classics and crap.

 

I borrowed this off a friend and loved it's trash or treasure nature!

 

Worth it for the Taskset games alone. Pipeline was a stone cold classic.

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This was the first compilation I bought and one of the best.

 

202294-zzap-sizzlers-ii-star-games-commo

 

With the exception of Z I still play these every couple of years.

 

And here's one none of you would have seen before.

 

10716988045_fddaca0f53_b.jpg

 

I don't play these anymore because (with the exception of Double Take which is awful) I played all of these to death back in the day.

 

Months of entertainment in that box. I guess the closest we have now to this sort of thing is Humble Bundles and Games with Gold / PS Plus.

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3 minutes ago, dave7g said:

The Great Escape was an odd one. I played it for hours and hours yet had no idea what was going on.

 

I loved that by letting go of the joystick the main character would defualt to the camp routine allowing you to work out where you needed to be and when there were gaps where your absence wouldn't be missed.

 

The C64 version was a lot slower than the Speccy version but not having the Speccy to compare it to at the time I wasn't too worried about how it compared.

 

 

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9 hours ago, StoooTube said:

Did anyone have the Codemasters CD compilation? It came with cables to connect your C64 to the audio output of a CD player.

Always wanted that as a kid, but my Dad wasn’t keen on me having the C64 connected to the “big telly” and stereo.

 

This video is the only decent one I could find and sadly it’s not in English...

 

 

The Oliver Twins run their own Youtube channel and I'm pretty sure they've talked all about it in the past.

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10 hours ago, StoooTube said:

Did anyone have the Codemasters CD compilation? It came with cables to connect your C64 to the audio output of a CD player.

Always wanted that as a kid, but my Dad wasn’t keen on me having the C64 connected to the “big telly” and stereo.

 

This video is the only decent one I could find and sadly it’s not in English...

 

 

That's quite rare now, particularly because it used a proprietary cable to connect to the CD player. You could see the potential, but sticking 30 Codemasters games onto an expensive (at the time) CD probably wasn't the way to showcase it! 

 

I've not seen that Six Star Hits compilation before, but it looks similar to one that I've got - Six Shooter which was a pack in compilation from Dixons.

 

maxresdefault.thumb.jpg.a55f2fe890a36c2789cf510935304cf8.jpg

 

 

Dixons had a habit of doing pretty good pack in compilations,  usually exclusively from Ocean, during that time. You got quite a few on the Spectrum too.

 

I remember my mate having Zzap Sizzlers 1 as a Boots pack in compilation for his C64, it had the tremendous Dropzone which is also available on The Gold Collection, which is easier to pick up than History in the Making but is a decent collection of early US Gold Games with a couple of duffers.

 

gold_collection_front.JPG.c7183a48443489914a66320543869bc4.JPG

 

The Gold Collection 2 and 3 came in those massive plastic cases and are a bit hit and miss (Gold Collection 2 has one of my favourite games still to this day, Desert Fox). US Gold had a habit of putting some bizarrely poor quality games on their compilations. 

 

US Gold also did a Master Games series of compilations, although they're pretty hard to find now. The cover design is terrible, but there's a good mix of games on some.

 

If you want to play some interesting compilations, the early Beau Jolly ones like 10 Computer Hits 1,2 , Mega Hits and Five Star Games have some cracking, but probably quite obscure now, games like Super Pipeline 2, Seaside Special, Poster Paster, Son of Blagger. Anticpal, Batalyx, Scarabaeus. 

 

20 Chart Busters by Beau Jolly is also a great introduction to the good budget games (and budget re-releases of the time) like Kane, Way of the Exploding Fist, Ghostbusters, Park Patrol, Thrust. It's also a total snapshot of the late 1980s, dayglo colours, random retro 50s images. It's Bad and Rad.

 

20_chart_busters_back.thumb.jpg.888ba1e28938bbaf21fc8af576c100e6.jpg

 

But like I said earlier, Big Box and Big Box 2 are definitely ones to pick up if you can. The boxes are MASSIVE mind you..

 

big_box_front.thumb.jpg.a878995c34c21424b5efcd330ffd6af8.jpg

 

big_box_2_front.thumb.jpg.ed9efbe2886c3bcb0bab470a9ec96592.jpg

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