Commodore 64 [OT] - SID Vicious

This year marked the 35th anniversary of the Commodore 64.


Games were available on floppy disk, cassette, and cartridge.



Prior to the rise of DOS/Windows PC gaming, I think the C64 was probably the most significant computer for gaming in the '80s from a world perspective.

  • It was successful in both NTSC and PAL regions. Stuff like the Spectrum, Amstrad, BBC Micro, MSX, etc. had near zero presence in North America. Atari had done okay with their 8-bit line on both sides of the pond but they didn’t set the world on fire. Apple computers were priced at the high end while C64s had the advantage of being closer to console prices by the mid '80s (assuming you hooked it up to a TV instead of buying the official monitor). IBM computers were still more for office work back then.

  • Because of its multi-region success, it became the biggest format for cross-cultural exchange between Western countries. Gamers in North America got to experience European and Australian games and vice versa. This may not seem notable today because of increased homogenization but back then there often major design differences. You can often tell by looking at and listening to most games what side of the Atlantic they came from. Sometimes the C64 had more than one port of arcade games depending on the region (Mario Bros., Congo Bongo, After Burner).

  • Computer games were usually multi-format back then. I think the C64 was in a better position than other 8-bit computer formats as far as ports went. The C64 received plenty of ports of Atari games but the reverse didn’t happen as much, especially in the late '80s. Spectrum games ported to C64 weren’t perfectly translated but they were usually close enough to resemble the originals. C64 games ported to Spectrum were graphically butchered abominations. The Sinclair hardware just didn’t have the colour palette. It was better suited for games built from the ground up.

By the end of the '80s, the C64 hardware was certainly showing its age compared to 16-bit computers and the re-invigorated console market.

20 classic C64 games:

Archon: The Light and the Dark
Turned based strategy meets real time action.

Fist: The Legend Continues
The sequel to Way of the Exploding Fist. This time it expanded beyond just being a fighting game. Its adventure mode has non-linear exploration and character upgrades. I hate the term “Metroidvania” but this was a significant early one that still doesn’t get much attention. I love that echo effect in the caves. I didn’t beat this game until over 20 years after I got it.

The Last Ninja
This seems to be a “love it or hate it” series. I love the first two games. Excellent soundtracks but some cruel trial-and-error gameplay.

California Games

Lazy Jones
The Wario Ware of 1984 with various minigames taken from gaming history before it.

Montezuma’s Revenge
Better than the Montezuma’s Revenge I had in Mexico last year.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
This was the first Infocom text adventure I owned. It was a big step up from the Aardvark Software ones I was playing previously.

Bruce Lee
Games like this in 1984 paved the way for the type of platformers Nintendo and Sega systems would be known for. It offered way more screens than the usual Donkey Kong/Space Panic-style games on the market and had an epic end boss.

Raid Over Moscow
Multi-perspective action with realistic thrust physics made this feel meatier than arcade shooters of the time.

The Train: Escape to Normandy

Pitstop II

Space Taxi
An evolution of the Lunar Lander genre.

Impossible Mission
“Stay a while. Stay Forevah!”

Leaderboard Golf

Project: Firestart
Arguably the first survival horror game as we know them.

International Karate/World Karate Championship

Aztec Challenge

Barbarian: the Ultimate Warrior/Death Sword

Brutal and methodical Euro-style run 'n gun. Unfortunately it doesn’t work in NTSC.

Maniac Mansion
Anyone want some microwaved hamster?

I just realized looking at those 20 games how many people involved have died: Richard Joseph, Bruce Carver, Douglas Adams, Silas Warner, Jukka Tapanimäki. Man, time is cruel.



I am old enough to have been awe inspired by that.

Thanks for the OT. I love the C64 and still have one setup here for when I feel the occasional need to load a game from cassette :slight_smile:

Browns and greys!

I haven’t played much of the C64, but I love the demoscene music stuff on YouTube.

I really love the sound of the c64, so awesome!

Some more music from a bunch of different guys:

Last Ninja - Ben Daglish, Anthony Lees

Last Ninja 2 - Matt Gray

Way of the Exploding Fist - Neil Brennan

Barbarian - Richard Joseph

Platoon - Jonathan Dunn

Sanxion - Rob Hubbard

Out Run - Jason Brooke (original by Hiroshi Miyauchi/Kawaguchi)

Druid II - David Hanlon

It’s too bad we never got to see Japanese developers max out their C64 music. Most Japanese-made games on C64 are from 1982/1983 before the system really took off in the audio department.

Found this on reddit this morning. I love the old ads!

Nice. You would think he would playing something better than Buffalo Round Up, though. :wink:

That reminds me of being in school and people would put pixelated screens of naked chicks on the C64s. And then turn off the monitors when the teachers came.

It’s the quintessential sound of the 80’s computers. There’s nothing quite like it.

I recall first hearing about this last year. Really cool-looking downport!

2024 rofl…

LIMBO is one of my favorite games of all time though, would be fun to play through it this way.

I picked up a C64 Mini. The included selection is lacking but since you can add your own games by USB, that’s not an issue. It’s pretty awesome to add whatever I want to it. The emulation seems solid, much nicer than the Wii VC C64 stuff. The only thing I don’t like so far is the joystick they included. It feels authentically '80s but not like a good '80s joystick. It’s quite stiff and annoying for diagonals. Hopefully I will find another controller that works on it. I tried a wired PS3 controller but that didn’t work.

I picked up a ps2 controller adapter for mine but haven’t tried it yet.

I’ve been really itching to get my original c64 set up. I have a full set up minus the monitor (including the printer!). Actively hunting for a 1702. I also have no games… has anyone tried the little mini disk drive that uses sd cards?

This should help out!

I have a couple of those Buffalo SNES controllers, and they are pretty nice for the $15 or so. Can’t go too wrong for that price.

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I have a pi1541 set up on my C128, and it’s pretty amazing.

It’s essentially a cycle correct emulation of a Commodore 1541 Disk Drive, and it can emulate all sorts of other drives like the 1541-II, 1571, 1581 etc etc. It also supports device switching, fast loaders, jiffyDOS and much more.

It’s a much more robust and versatile solution, and I would recommend it over those little SD2IEC solutions.

edit: I should clarify, that if this is the route you intend to take, I would also recommend you get one with a little OLED screen, so you can switch disks on the fly, which is needed for when you want to play games with more than one disk. You should also make sure your pi1541 has two serial ports instead of one, so you can still use your other serial devices in a daisy chain, like your printer.


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Awesome info, thanks!

I just got one of these but havn’t had a chance to setup yet. Did you run into any issues or quirks while you were setting it up?

Nope, it was really easy. The documentation is pretty decent.

That said, if you have issues let me know, and I can help you out if you need.

Thanks! I need to mod or replace my PSU first. I’ve got so many projects going on the C64 has unfortunately taken a back seat.

Did you test the PSU? You can test the 5V pin to see if it’s bad.

If pin 5 is anything around 5.2V or less, you should be okay to use it, but keep in mind that the margin of error is pretty slim for the ICs inside your C64, and that PSU will fail eventually. If it spikes to anything over about 5.4V, it will start damaging components.

That said, you can get a power saver for them, that plugs in-between the PSU and your C64, and will have a fast acting fuse & circuit to cut power if the PSU fails and spikes the voltage. Be careful when buying though, as I’ve seen ones that do not act until 5.6V, and it would allow your PSU to sit there at 5.5V all day and fry your system. It’s a cheaper alternative than buying an entirely new PSU.