October 21, 2013 | In: Games by Stamba

More and more c64 games!

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October 15, 2013 | In: Games by Markus Ulfberg

C64anabalt – Endless fun

C64anabalt title

C64anabalt is the official Commodore 64 port of the 2009 indie flash game Canabalt by Adam Atomic and Danny B. Originally released in 2011 C64anabalt was coded by Paulko64 while Encore did the SID adaptation of the original soundtrack.

When I first tried out Canabalt a couple of years ago I immediately got hooked on the simple yet enticing gameplay. It’s an endless runner type game which basically means you run for as long as you possibly can before you die. The distance you manage to run before you die is your score. Simple – yes, easy – HELL NO! But it is fun. Trust me.

C64anabalt cartridge and box.

C64anabalt cartridge and box.



Let’s put it in the form of a well known cliché “easy play but hard master”. Controls goes as following, press “fire” (on joystick in port 2) and the running man on screen jumps. Death comes when you fail to reach the next building, run/jump into a bomb or linger on a collapsing building. As long as you run and jump you gain speed, the only way to slow down is to run into boxes or office furniture. But you need speed to make long jumps so don’t slow down too much.

C64anabalt gameplay screenshot

A fighter jet roars by while you try to make your way across the rooftops.

That was the easy part. What makes C64anabalt hard to master is that the “level” is seemingly random generated. Apparently it’s something called procedural generation which is not really random but based on algorithms instead of… yeah let’s just call it random. What it means is that you can’t really prepare for that bomb that drops right in front of you at 432 m or that jump through a lower level window at 1823 m as both might come sooner or later. But then again it is when you crash into a wall above a window and tumble to your death that you get so infuriated by frustration that you immediately press “fire” to play just one more time.

If there’s one flaw I’d like to mention is that there’s no way to save your score. Although it doesn’t affect how fun the game is, it does limit credible bragging.


Graphics and sound

C64anabalt is a really well made port of Canabalt. The graphics are pretty much the same as the original. Sure, there are no big robots scorching the cityscape in the background. But the parallax does provide some depth. Character animation is near identical, even capturing the wailing arms on a long jump and the roll after a high drop. Scrolling is really smooth even at high speeds and I have yet to reach a speed to cause any stuttering. Also there are less pigeons but I wouldn’t consider that a deal breaker.

The music, converted by Encore sounds great. I adds to the gloomy atmosphere set by the grayscale graphics of the war torn city. There are no sound effects but IIRC most C64 games never gave you the option of both, if anything you could choose between one of the two and in this case I would have gone with the music all the time.


Is it worth the money?

If you have the money to spare then yes £22 (including shipping) for a newly developed game on working cartridge to a Commodore 64 isn’t too expensive. If you just want to play Canabalt, the original flash game is free to play and can be found here. The iOS/Android ports might cost less and have more features than C64anabalt, but they won’t let you fondle your old TAC-2 or Wico Bathandle.

As an added bonus, C64anabalt can be used to as a conversational ice breaker for male humans over the age of 30, preferably former C64 owners.

All in all Canabalt is a great game to pick up and play when you have a moment to spare. C64anabalt on a cartridge let’s you do just that. Flick the power switch on your C64 and you’re ready to start your daring escape.

To get your copy of C64anabalt go here.

Screenshots and video borrowed from rgcd.co.uk.

September 18, 2013 | In: Games by Stamba

Commocore? Polish(ed) games!


Commocore, a small studio from Poland, is developing games for Commodore 64.

USSR League

Poland is still an active fighter when it comes about c64 stuff! As you can read it on their website:

Commocore is a software house for new Commodore 64 games. For now we are in cartridge development stage and we’re working on few game titles. Also this webpage design is only for a while. We’re working on two arcade games: Steel Duck and USSR League. There’s more, a top secret game called Cryme. Arcade games is not enough, so for everybody who is looking for cRPG genre, we’re creating a world of Meonlawel. Stay tuned.

Steel Duck

Steel-Duck-final-duckSteel Duck (sprite edition)

These games are still works in progress but they look promising!


But… who is behind Commocore ?

Let’s discover a passionate human being in love with ASM and Commodore 64!


Can you tell us a little more about you ? Where are you from ?

Hi. My name is Bartosz Zolynski, but I’m better known as Bago Zonde. I was born and have been living to this day in Poland, the country where Commodore 64 became very popular only in the early 90s.


What is your relation to c64?

I’ve had a Commodore 64 since 1994, before that I had an Atari 2600 clone with “250 built-in games”. At first, for about a year, I was using my Commodore 64 only for playing games. I remember the day I first saw Contra on my friends’ Pegasus game console (another NES clone). I wanted to write a game like that! So I got into BASIC right away. Unfortunately, the spell was soon broken and my dreams of creating fabulous games did not come true. My friend showed me an assembler monitor once, but we didn’t know a thing, so we could only experiment. There was no Internet back then! True Middle Ages!
I only managed to write a couple of simple games, including Minesweeper using recurrence (which was, however, only limited to memory), or an FPS pseudo-3D game which was a bit too slow. Maybe I’ll publish them someday as funny trivia extras.

StoneAgeBago, playing with pre-commodorian era pad!

What were your favorite games back in the days ?

In the early 90s, you couldn’t get original games in Poland. There also wasn’t any law regulating illegal copying! So you could go into a shop and legally buy pirate copies of game sets (usually of 30-40 games) on cassettes. Some of those set series were very professionally made: a nice cover with a poster of one of the games (usually for Amiga) printed on thick paper. I would go to the shop, look through the catalogue containing the covers of the games and short descriptions, and most of the time buy adventure games. I often got games divided into parts (each level was a separate programme) with trainers, that’s why I completed Turrican in less that an hour :].

Meonlawel-title-screenMeonlawel (main title)

My favourite game from the past is definitely Archon, my ideal! Of course, I played Giana Sisters (which I knew as Mario Bros) many times. And Slaine – the controls discourage people from playing it, but I still like this game very much. Maybe the atmosphere created by David Whittaker, the composer of Slaine game soundtrack, increased my patience. I’m fascinated by both the game and the comic book. Unfortunately, there’s a bug in the C64 version of the game, so most probably you can’t complete this version of it!

I also played H-at Trick, Boulder Dash, Raid on Bungeling Bay and Force Seven a lot. I like the crazy Hard Work and Mouse Trap, too. Bionic Commando, Trolls and Tribulations, Midnight Resistance, Storm Warrior, Stormlord, Satan, Motos, Paperboy, Supremacy, Stuntman Seymour, R-Type, Krakout Professional, Test Drive. Of course, there are many more.

I still love all those games, and lately I fell for Trolls. Now, I’m planning to explore cRPG games for C64.

5d5-1-dawnMeonlawel (ingame)

Why did you decide to make new games for c64 ?

I simply love this computer! I learned pixel graphics and game mechanics while creating games for Amiga, but I always wanted to write a game for C64. In 2007, while writing a C64 game Meonlawel in BASIC, I decided that I wanted to have music in it. When I managed to add a music player written in assembler, its speed intrigued me. Once I saw how fast it was possible to print 1000 characters on screen using assembly code, there was no turning back – I decided to learn assembler 6502 in order to write the whole game in it and that’s how it began! The better I knew the limitations of the machine, the more I wanted to go beyond them. Instead of thinking: it’s a limitation, I started to see it as a feature! It’s an exciting experience and I wouldn’t change it for writing PC games. I like challenges, but I don’t think I would go as far as trying to write something for Atari 2600. It’s enough that I’ve seen David Crane talking about writing Pitfall :]. I think that would be too much for me. You can rock a little bit with C64, you know ;].

Do you plan to sell the cartridges ?

It has always been my dream to publish a game commercially, so yes, there will be a C64 game, and I hope that I will be able to publish it on cartridge under Commocore label. And I certainly hope you’ll enjoy it!

sprite-viewMeonlawel (sprite edition)

Would you like to send a message to the world ?

I would like Commodore 64 to experience a renaissance! Even now, there are many great games and demos being published. The scene is still alive and well. Also, new, interesting hardware solutions have been coming up. Guys, I really think you should try assembler, it’s a great adventure! Write even more programmes, more amazing music, create more graphics! Thanks to all that are active and support this community, including you, David!


Well, thank you Bago for such a nice interview for mycommodore64.com! 😉

For more information, please hit http://www.commocore.com !

July 21, 2013 | In: Hardware by rEdrUm

C64TPC, a drive virtualiser for your C64

No more disks !!

They demagnetize anyway …
C64TPC on top of Commodore 64C
When it comes to mixing new and old hardware, I’m as crazy as a kid on Christmas morning.

These brillant developpers/electronics engineer know how to bring us the convenience of our modern easy and fast file handling to our beloved old machineries.

The C64TPC is no exception thanks to Ahmet Eymür, a turkish developper whose love for the C64 pushed him to create this neat little device.

A noble purpose

The goal of the C64TPC is very simple. Emulate up to four (4) 1541 drives for your real C64, using the serial port of your C=. On the other side, still using the serial port, your windows PC drives the little box with the help of a very simple to use software.

This will enable to feed your .d64 files to C64 in order to quench your Commodore thirst !

The tiny box

Let’s take a look at this little device.

C64TPC Front

On the front, three leds used as indicators of the operations/errors.

C64TPC Back

On the back, the C64 serial cable, the PC serial port and of course the power supply jack.

C64TPC PSUC64TPC Standard 9-pin null modem serial cable

You will also of course need a multipurpose PSU (that can output 500 mA @ 9v) and a standard null modem serial cable.


Plugged in !

Up and ready

Now that we’ve plugged it in, let see what the software looks like.
The soft (C64TPC 1.1), is presented in a formal and classic but efficient way.


On the left the standard I/O managing system to find your images files.
On the top right, a preview of the content of the selected disk image, C64 style !
This is a very nice and useful feature when you are searching for a specific file to launch on a multi program disk.
Next to this, an also important spot: your pc COM port selection used for the connection to the C64TPC.
On the bottom right, the 4 virtual drives configuration and status.
Finally, on the bottom, the log window with loading bar status, a huge deal.

Let’s play!

For the purpose of this demo, I will use a classic game, Double Dragon.


You can add up to four virtual drives, acting as the ID 8,9,10 and 11 on the C64, by clicking on each of their connect button.
After having highlighted the disk image I want to use, I just have to push on the mount disk icon and there we go…

C64TPC Ready

A LOAD”*”,8,1 later the single green lit led tells us that the game is ready to load. RUN.

C64TPC Double Dragon running !

The loading is faster than on the traditional “real” disk drive, as the C64TPC contains an equivalent to a fastload cartridge.
Real fastload or similar, won’t run alongside the C64TPC because of this.

Ok, is it good then !?

Of course, not every disk image will work. I encountered some errors while loading. Hopefully the software on the pc side gives you details on what’s happening.
The most common error I had through my tests was “Unsupported Command”. After a little research, it came to my attention that some games required special physical commands on the 1541 that the C64TPC is unable to emulate.

I also tried to use a usb-to-serial converter with another pc that didn’t come with a serial port and despite all my efforts, didn’t work…

These little problems are insignificant compared to the positive side of what you get! Roaming through disk images is a real pleasure and very easy to accomplish.

So, where can I get one !?

That’s the problem, you can’t. I was lucky to get one while Ahmet was still producing them but the production as stopped in between.

So eBay remains the best option to find a used one.

But there is hope! I got in touch with Ahmet and he confirmed to me that all the C64TPC source code will be very soon … open source !
Let’s hope some fierce soldering iron/coders will take on the good job further !


Manual: C64TPC User Manual (.pdf, 324 Kb)
Software: C64TPC v1.1 (.zip , 7.3 Mb)

Original Video from Ahmet’s Youtube channel:

July 10, 2013 | In: Games, Software by Stamba

AD&D – Heroes of the lance

Hell yeah!

Riding a dragon spitting flames is sooo epic!


Sure SSI had the right artists for their cover! Thanks to Jeff Easley for such a piece of art 😉
Let’s have a closer look to the covers…



Sure SSI had the right artists for their cover! Thanks to Jeff Easley for such a piece of art 😉


Jeff Easley,

the advanced dragon!

 Jeff EasleyJeff Easley was born in Nicholasville, Kentucky in 1954. He had an early interest in art, especially when it had a fantastic element. To say he is a huge Frank Frazetta fan is an understatement. He graduated from Murray State University in 1977. He had a brief fling at freelancing that resulted in a few projects with Warren Publishing and Marvel comics. In 1982 he had the opportunity to join the art staff at TSR Inc. which was starting to hit their stride with their Dungeons and Dragons role playing game. It is said that the amazing artwork of Jeff Easley, Larry Elmore, Keith Parkinson and Clyde Caldwell helped propel Advanced Dungeons and Dragons to new heights in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. During his 20+ year tenure at TSR/WOTC Jeff did many rulebook, boxed set, and module covers for all of TSR’s gaming worlds including the iconic 1st Edition AD&D hard covers and then all of the 2nd Edition core hard cover rule books. In addition, Jeff was responsible for many famous Dragonlance and Drizzt paintings. Afer parting ways with WOTC in 2003, Jeff found himself freelancing once again,and is currently producing art for various companies and individuals. And of course, picking up Pug poo…

Written by Jim Ludwig – Dark Sword Miniatures, Inc. – Read more…


Definitly the best artworks for an heroïc fanstasy game! Have a look to the advertisements!



Another AD&D RPG ?

Mmm…? Nope! Not at all!

The legendary Dragonlance® game world comes alive in this exciting action game.

Really ? Action game ? Ok! Why not? Well… I guess it wasn’t a bad idea to find a new way to exploit the legendary AD&D licence… but unfortunately it ended up really bad. What about the story ? Here is the introduction that you can find in the manual:

It is now more than three hundred years since the Cataclysm when the wrath of the gods descended upon Krynn. With the only direct access portal denied her, The Queen of Darkness spreads her power across the land by awakening the evil dragons and creating the Draconians. Once in control of Krynn, whe will be free to force entry to the world. Only the ‘Companions of the Lance’ (they aren’t ‘Heroes’ until they succeed) can stop her final victory. Should they fail, the Queen of Darkness will be free to come through from the Abyss into the world and darkness will cover Krynn for all eternity, as she and her Draconians will control the largest, most evil empire ever created.

Commodore 64 - Heroes of the lance - screenshots -_0009_Calque 8

The only threat to her awesome power is the possibility of a revival of the worship of the old golds. In the years since the Cataclysm, the inhabitants of Krynn have lost their belief in the gods. Before opposition to Takhisis canb be united, you must restore faith in the old gods by recovering the Disks of Mishakal from the ruins of Xak Tsaroth. Use of their knowledge will bring True Healing back to Krynn and restore faith in the old gods, allowing them to intervene in the fate of their worshippers. More importantly, it allows them to confront the Queen of Darkness directly and restore the balance between Good, Evil and Neutrality.

Commodore 64 - Heroes of the lance - screenshots -_0007_Calque 10

This mighty relic is the only hope for Krynn and you must aid the Companions in their quest to retrieve the Disks. Unfortunately, the Disks aren’t just lying in the ruins but are actively guarded by Khisanth, an ancient, huge, black dragon, served by Draconians who have enslaved the local Aghar (gully dwarves).

The game offers the classic panel of races and classes of RPG games… with fighters, clerics, wizards, etc… Let’s check those nice adventurers!

Graphics are really poor for a game released in 1988! Color palette has been really underused on this one. Gameplay is also kinda weird… Controls are really a pain in the *SS ! Animation is ok, but… what animation ?! So, about the game system: you control 8 characters with differents abilities to fight the enemies. You have to select the right character for the right enemy. Here is the only RPG related thing in this game. Some screenshots:

Good point: music!

Thanks to Ben Daglish!

bendaglishBen Daglish was born in 1966 in London. He moved to Sheffield as a small child, and grew up benefiting from both its peripatetic instrumental service and its cheap bus fares. He was the principal percussionist for the City Of Sheffield Youth Orchestra, and performed extensively as both percussionist and conductor before starting to compose music for computer games in the early 1980’s. He moved on to compose and perform for a number of theatre companies as MD/actor/musician in places as diverse as Belfast, Tuscany and Jerusalem. Ben currently plays various instruments with a number of different ensembles (most notably Loscoe State Opera), and lives with his partner and three children in the Peak District. When he’s not playing music, he works as a programmer, writing network device backup software for Restorepoint. Read more

Ben managed to give his tune an epic feeling, perfect match for this kind of game! Unfortunately it’s just a 30 seconds loop. Have a listen!


Manual: Heroes of the lance – Manual (web) (.pdf, 3.1 Mb)
Software: Heroes.of.the.Lance-c64 (.zip (.d64),  142 Kb)
SID: Heroes_of_the_Lance (.zip (.sid), 2.2 Kb)

      1. Ben Daglish - Heroes of the Lance
 (.mp3, 6.9 Mb)

Oh yes, here is a pic of the floppy… aaaah, way better (erm, just a little better) than the tape version! Haha!