More Commodore CD32 emulation fun.

The guys at http://unofficial-cd32-ports.blogspot.co.uk/ rounded off their month long release of CD32 conversions a few days ago with one motherload of a compilation containing a whopping 160 Amiga games. You’d be hard pressed to find something fun to play with this lot and kudos for wrapping it all up into a  neat little graphical menu. Even into October, ‘encore’ releases are coming out daily and their penultimate release today will be keeping me in very good company throughout the darkening nights.

Stunt Car Racer, one of  the many Amiga titles I’ll never tire of and am really looking forward to racing around those new tracks. One of these days, I’m going to link a couple of my Amiga’s together and invite a few friends around for an evening of ‘friendly’ racing.

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…but just going back to the 160 game compilation for a moment, it was whilst I was having a blast playing  Joust did I realise how many people, each with their projects have come together, unknowingly to create what I have on screen that I’m waving my stick at (well pad) and grinning ear to ear.

Here’s Joust, the rather funtastic Atari ST version of the Williams Electronics classic hit. Except, this one has been converted to run on the Commodore Amiga by http://meynaf.free.fr/pr/ and then converted again last month to run on the CD32…..which I have running on my Netbook  thanks to the everyone behind the WinUAE project….connected to and controlled with an original CD32 gamepad thanks to Retronic Design.   – Mind numbing, awesome-ness stuff but if I have to think about it any further I might need to go and have a lie down and I haven’t got time for that, there’s Ostrich prodding to be done…..erm!

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Virtual Reality CS-1000

Last year at Retro Revival  I got the chance to don a Virtual Reality headset and step into a vintage CS-1000 VR pod.

Me, sticking it to the virtual man.

StiGGy_VR

 

Since then, the owner of this particular pod and other VF gear has teamed up with Andy at the Retro Computer Museum to have the equipment available at their gaming shows and the exciting prospect of having two pods linked together for multiplayer gaming.

Check out this 1990’s episode of Gamesmaster featuring the VR game Dactyl Nightmare running on two VF pods.

It’s been ages since I’ve popped down to the museum and having an item to drop off and collect I thought I’d take a little time out from our DIY work  and go see what they’re up to…

…and as luck would have it, a glimpse at the technology behind one of the Virtuality pods

Virtuality

 

That’s the Matrix there and it’s powered by Commodore Amiga technology.

 

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This particular unit is having a few video issues but owner Simon was confident that they could be resolved. By the time I’d finished drooling over some the museums software archive a little later on, video of  Dactyl Nightmare was being displayed on one of the headset tv screens.

 

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The CS-1000 pod in storage and awaits a clean and it’s brain refitting. Hopefully this second unit will be up and running soon and fingers crossed, will make an appearance at one of this years retro gaming events.

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Mission accomplished – thanks Gamebase20!

I hope all are well and enjoying the first few days of the new year.  I start mine on a bit of a high note regarding retro gaming because like an unknown song going round and round in your head, I’ve finally been able to put name to a game I’ve been trying to recollect  for nearly thirty years!

The game in question is for the Commodore Vic-20, a computer owned by my cousin at the time who I would often see at the weekends for gaming and generally hanging out with. He was a little older than myself and had all manner of cool stuff like handheld video game machines, a massive collection of rock/heavy metal LP’s and a medium sized snooker table that had been converted into a  war gaming board and could slide out  on wheels from under his bed.  In the days of Dungeons and Dragons , Fighting Fantasy and White Dwarf magazine, this was cool (geek) stuff indeed and many happy hours were spent on that snooker table without actually ever striking a cue ball 🙂

It was one of the first ‘proper’ computers I had regular access too and I even purchased a few games for it even though it wasn’t my machine.

My only recollection of what the game looked like was that contained some sort of mask/face you had to shoot at multiple times….and that’s about it.  He has a black and white TV at the time so I have no colour reference either.

I’ve been searching for years now and asking around various gaming forums but with so little clues as to what it might be, it’s a game title that’s always eluded me. My cousin has no recollection of the game either…did it even exist I started to wonder?

Burned in my brain are those masks though. They kinda remind of these  that you see depicting laughter and sadness. Especially the smiling one.

masks

Some years ago I thought I was on the right track with a game called XOR. The masks looked familiar but on playing it (C64 version) I knew that these weren’t the droids I was  looking for (sorry…Christmas TV turned out to be a bit of a Star Wars fest). Beside, versions of XOR were available for many computer formats but not the VIC as far as I could see.

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For those time when I’ve not got my Vic-20 setup on the geek desk, I’ll turn to emulation  and as an avid user of Gamebase64,  I thought it was high time I took a look at the Vic-20 version which has just recently received a large update.

I’m sure you all know about Gamebase20 but if not, in a nutshell it’s a nice graphical frontend for running Vic-20 games under VICE and has plenty of tools for searching  and the ability to create custom game lists as well as displaying screenshots, cover art and all manner of details about each game. It also configures games to run automatically with the correct RAM configuration settings within VICE…a very handy feature on a computer that has many types of specific RAM requirements.

Screenshot from my Gamebase20 – my word, that is one scary looking Puck-man cover!

gamebase20

Any-ho (yes, I’m getting there!) Gamebase20, contains a huge amount of VIC-20 games and so it’s also useful for discovering new(old) games to play. I was browsing around the games list the other day and stopped dead when I saw this particular screenshot.

Those faces!

 

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I loaded the game and sure enough, this is the game I’ve been looking for. My mission is well and truly accomplished and I can finally put this puzzle to rest after all these years.

The game is called Phantom Attack, a budget released by (wallet friendly) Mastertronic and contained another of those great Sci-Fi  covers Mastertronics used to use on a good proportion of their games (maybe by artist Mark J. Brady?).

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edit 07/01/2014 – I’ve received a rather nice response to my email to MJB confirming he was the cover artist for this game.

Phantom Attack is, well, quite frankly a bit crap 🙂 I’m not entirely sure what you’re supposed to do here apart from blasting away at the masks until the stage is clear.  Yup, 80’s entertainment @ £1.99 🙂

But I don’t care, I’m just happy that the little hole in my memory bank has been filled and it’s all thanks to Gamebase20.

Hmm, something doesn’t look quite right though.

 

phantom_bw

Much better 😉

 

 

My first Amiga 500 circa 1989.

It’s the last day of the holidays (boo) before heading back into work tomorrow and so with a little free time this afternoon and thanks to a VCR – DVD transferring kit (and DVD ripping software) I have on loan from a friend (thanks again Rob!)  I’ve finally been able to digitally archive all of the home movies I made during the late 80’s and early 90’s.  It’s been a laugh watching yours truly simply just messing around with friends and family all looking much younger, sporting terrible clothing fashions and meandering around the house I grew up in. Likewise it’s been fun catching little glimpses of all the 80’s technology we used to use including mammoth VCR’s, Hifi stacks, chunky remote controls and a very brief look at my (messy) desk and Amiga 500.

My Commdore Amiga circa 1989.

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There she is on my ‘cool back in the 80’s’ black desk with  external disk drive sitting to the right of the TV screen. Would you believe, that matching black shelf was almost the same price as the desk! Further to the right is a black Competition Pro joystick which sits upon a CB Radio set and it’s chunky psu behind it. Back in the day, my CB radio and a good antenna allowed me to reach most of my friends all across town and was our version of Skype back then. The cream coloured box next to my CB radio is a dot matrix printer…I forget which model though….and it was crap.

On the left next to the Amiga tank mouse is my stereo amplifier unit from the early 80’s.  I used to feed the audio output from my Amiga through to a set of large floor standing hifi speakers which sat either side of my desk. I loved that amplifier, especially the lamp lit Left and Right  volume meters which were very much retro even back then. Above the amplifier is an old radio and twin tape deck unit. I’d was just starting to get into digital music back then and used this, in conjunction with a sampling cartridge to create all manner of music noise.

Floppy disks everywhere and a truly hideous dolphin statuette thingie!

I had lots of fun at this desk and not much changed with the setup over the next few years apart from video capture devices and a upgrade to a Amiga 1200, HDD and finally a proper CRT monitor.

Those were the days!

 

 

 

 

 

RGCD C64 Cartridge competition 2013.

On Sunday evening, the entrance deadline for the 2013 RGCD C64 cartridge competition ended and all games have now been released.

http://www.rgcd.co.uk/

All in all, that’s a staggering twelve (plus three re-released) brand new swanky games for you to enjoy on your C64/emulator. Christmas has most certainly come early!

Here’s the list –

Bellringer III
Candle Burner 1.1
Cosmic Ark
Devil Ronin
Invert
Kobo64
Linus Vs Simon
Magic Duel
Micro Hexagon
Monster Buster
Powerglove
Revenge Of The Tomato
Rocket Smash
S-Blox
Vallation

The only title I have played so far (although this was an early beta last year) is the remake of the Atari 2600 classic Cosmic Ark by fellow RCM’er and good friend Max Hall. I very much looking forward to playing the final release especially after hearing about the nightmare that Max has had squeezing the whole lot into just 16k.

Here’s the download link – http://downloads.rgcd.co.uk/projects/c64/RGCDCompo2013.zip

 

As I type this post, I’m currently writing to my EasyFlash cartr….actually, they’ve just finished so I’m off to give each game a twirl.

Have you played any of them yet?  Got a favourite title(s) you like to see crowned as the  winner of this years competition?

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