I was a late comer to being the proud owner of a Commodore 64, but when I got it I was in Heaven. It was an incredible computer. I remember getting Ghostbuster and a Zip Stick with it. I had the model that was all cream and sloped down from back to front. I remember getting home and unpacking it and setting it up and switching it on to see it flicker to life and display the immortal Commdore 64 Screen I put the tape into the tape deck and type the command "Load" and pressed Return and I was given the command, "Press Play On Tape" and did so. Having loaded a short time I greeted with a game called Invade-A-Load which was a game you could play to keep you entertained until the main game loaded, a nice idea. For anyone who doesn't know it it was a manically difficult version of Space Invaders, coupled with a rendition of Ron Hubbard's theme for another Commodore 64 game One Man And His Droid I remember when Ghostbusters loaded up you were treated to a VERY nice introduction. Who'll ever forget the Ghostbusters And Taunting Laugh then followed by a very nice 8Bit rendition of Ray Parker Junior's Ghostbusters complete with lyric and bouncing ball for you to sing along to. Pressing the fire button you were brought to an orange screen with black writing where you would open an account as a Paranormal Investigator and Eliminator and be advanced $10,000 for equipment. Then you went on and selected your car, loaded it with the necessary Ghostbusting Tool's and you were off on to a map of the city where you would move to on the map and then drive to to bust the Slimers who were haunting the building and later on sucking up any entities you'd meet on the road along the way. Symbols of the Gate Keeper and Key Master were constantly floating around the map as yellow entities made the way toward Zuul in the center, (running over these on the map caused them to be stopped and you would vacuum them up as you drove along the road. You only got one Slimer per trap so that meant when they were full you had to go back to GHQ to empty them, leaving the door open all the while for the entities to make their way to Zuul and thus increasing the City's PKE Level. The idea was that you had to raise more money than you started with so when the city's PKE Level was at a certain height, the Gate Keeper and Key Master would go to Zuul and you would follow them, then you'd have to sneak two Ghostbusters past the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man go up to the top of the building, close the portal and save the city. The idea was that you had to raise more money than you started with so when the city's PKE Level was at a certain height, the Gate Keeper and Key Master would go to Zuul and you would follow them, then you'd have to sneak two Ghostbusters past the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man go up to the top of the building, close the portal and save the city. If you didn't have enough money, you'd be told that Gozer would enter your world through the portal, and it would be Game Over. What would cost you the game would failing to trap Slimers where in turn you would be slimed. Get slimed too many times and you wouldn't have anymore Ghostbusters and it would be Game Over. Another would be not averting enough “Marshmallow Man Alerts”, because each time you don't he stomp on a building, you are fined $2000 and that in turn can cause you not to make enough money when the time comes that the PKE Level is high enough for the Gate Keeper and Key Master to go to Zuul.
I spent all that day and allot of time when I had my Commodore 64 trapping Slimer's, Vacuuming Entities and averting the destruction of building beneath the might of the Marshmallow Man.
Why did I go into such detail about Ghostbusters on the Commodore 64 when there are hundred's of other great great games for it? Because it was the first game I ever played on the Commodore 64 and Ghostbusters is my favourite film from the 1980's and to see that they did such a great job making a game based on the film that can stand along side it proudly on platform of the time is something special for me. Another score in it's favour that in a genre of Computer/Video Games which are generally not good, the video game license of a film, it is one of the success stories. It is a great game of a great film. Versions of games of the film came out on other more powerful machines, but they were just a horrible mistake and to this day the Commodore 64 games stands head and shoulder above them.
Some other favourites of mine are:
The Last Ninja An isometric Action/Platformer that had great graphic's, great puzzles, a great storyline and a incredible theme. Developed by System 3, Designed By Mark Cale and Tim Best, Artwork By Hugh Riley, Composers Ben Daglish and Anthony Lees. The Last Ninja was a game that captured the atmosphere of Ninja Film very well
Creatures Clyde Radcliffe Exterminates All The Unfriendly Repulsive Earth-Ridden Slime (C.R.E.A.T.U.R.E.S.) was a Platformer with a cute exterior with a nasty surprise inside, (but a good one). Very colourful and bright C.R.E.A.T.U.R.E.S. is an entertaining game with wacky characters, a good Witch to aid you in your quest, and the race against time at the end of every level to safe one of your kind from a hideous fate in the Torture Screen. Developed by Apex Computer Production, Published by Thalamus, and with Design/Art and Music Composition by John and Steve Rowlands C.R.E.A.T.U.R.E.S was an entertaining an entertaining and addictive game.
The Great Giana Sisters While ultimately perhaps not much more than a middle of the road platformer I like this. This controls took a bit of getting used to but when you did there was fun to be had. Decent enough graphics, a nice theme by Chris Hulsbeck, Developed by Time Warp Productions and Published by Rainbow Arts it is a good filler of some free time. Not many got the chance to get their hands on it though as it was quickly forced to be removed from the shelves by Nintendo's Legal Eagles upon release as looking at it you can see that it's a blatant take on Nintendo's Flagship Platformer about two Italian Plumber's. Ironically however, there is a version of the game on the Nintendo DS.
Midnight Resistance Set in a dystopian future where the player controls a member of a resistance movement who goes on a mission to rescue his kidnapped family from a mad scientist. Featuing play mechanics and controls similar to that of the Contra series and the rotatable joystick similar to the one used in Ikari Warriors. Collecting Keys along the way meant that you could trade them in for various weapons between level's. Developed and Published by Data East, Designed by Koji Akibayashi and Composition by Azusa Hara, Tatsuya Kiuchi, Hitomi Komatsu and Hiroaki Yoshida Midnight Resistance is an action packed shoot 'em up with good weapon, challenging baddies and satisfying difficulty curve.
Dizzy From a long and illustrious series Dizzy is a platform game that entertained and infuriated thousands in equal amounts. Filled with great characters, cartoon graphic, a fantasy storyline that would entertain many an avid reader if released in book form and sometimes mind bending puzzles, Developed by The Oliver Twins and Published by Codemasters Dizzy was the egg shaped hero of the Commodore 64.
Barbarian: The Ultimate Warrior (or Death Sword in the U.S.A.) pitted you one on one in a series of duels on Conan-like proportion's. Combat consisted of a variety of moves of chops, jumps, ducking, rolls, a move called "The Web Of Death" where the character would swing his sword in a left/right motion and the ultimately devastating head chop where the character would spin round and swing out with his sword cutting off the head of the other character is done correctly causing the character to fall to his knees and fall face down, (or he would do if he had a head). Five years before the world came to know of Mortal Kombat, Barbarian: The Ultimate Warrior was shedding blood and taking head's. Fighting your way through eight different duel's with Barbarian's in various location's, when you had defeated his minion's you would face the Wizard Drax who had kidnapped the Princess Mariana for whom you fight. Another difference in the American version your nameless character was called Gorth.
Head Over Heels Another isometric class the game introduces an original concept: the player controls (initially separately) two characters instead of just one. The two characters have different abilities (Head can jump twice as high, control himself in the air, and fire doughnuts from a hooter to paralyses enemies; while Heels can run twice as fast, climb certain staircases that Head cannot, and carry objects around a room in a bag), which become complementary when the player combines them together after about a sixth of the game. Headus Mouthion (Head) and Footus Underium (Heels) are two spies from the planet Freedom. They are sent to Blacktooth to liberate the enslaved planets of Penitentiary, Safari, Book World and Egyptus, and then to defeat the Emperor to prevent further planets falling under his rule. Captured and separated, the spies are placed in the prison headquarters of Castle Blacktooth and must first escape, then break through the market to the orbiting Moonbase where they can teleport down to the planets to locate and reobtain the stolen crowns. Liberation of the planets and defeat of the Emperor will allow Head and Heels to return to Freedom as heroes. Filled with nice graphic, great effects, entertaining music and a good sense of humour, Developed and Published by Ocean Software and Designed by Jon Ritman and Bernie Drummond it's easy to see why Head Over Heels was such a hit.
Buggy Boy A fun racer filled with thrills and spills. Not your usual foot to the floor racing game, you had to avoid hazard collect flags for bonus's, avoid rocks, walls and water hazards and you have to do all this and beat the clock too. Known as Speed Buggy in America it is a great action packed racing and addictive racing. Copyright Taito, Coded by Dave Thomas, Graphics by Bob Thomas and Music Dave Thomas.
Platoon Multiple games in one Platoon puts you right in the thick of the action from the word go. Having to make your way through a maze like forest with the path covered with mines and enemies popping out of trees and trap doors you will need sharp reflexes to make it through. Next you have to make your way though an underground tunnel system with danger around every corner and also jumping out at you from the water at every possible step. Also you have to explore room for supplies on your way too. Fortunately this time you have a map. Next you are back into the Jungle, but this time at night and manning a gun to take out waves of enemy that come out of the trees. Making your way through more treacherous jungle condition's once more you finally reach your helicopter and are rescued. Coder: Zach Townsend Graphics by Andrew Sleigh/Martin McDonald and Music by Jonathan Dunn this is another exception to the theory that games of films are usually bad. Great Game Play, Excellent Artwork and a Score that foreboding and atmospheric. It's easy to see what an enduring pieces of software this is.
And finally, (for now), a game that is a phenomenal achievement on the Commodore 64, a game who's kind would usually only be found on the likes of higher powered machines such as The Commodore Amiga, Atari ST or P.C. Computers, but with the sheer brilliance and still of Coders David Fox and Matthew Kane they managed to bring it home to the Commodore 64. Published by Lucas Arts who are famous for such other great title's as The Secret Of Monkey Island, Indiana Jones And The Fate Of Atlantis and Maniac Mansion: Day Of The Tentacle. The game, is Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders Filled with superb cartoon graphic's, a uptempo theme music, great animation and audio effects and a hilarious storyline drawing from many popular theories about aliens, ancient astronauts and mysterious civilizations.
If you haven't played any of the great games in abundance on the Commodore 64 I would highly recommend you get yourself an emulator and games freely available from a search on Google, (eeh, freely difficulty wise and copyright etc.). I would put a link to them here but I don't know if that would be accepted.
Next time, the more technical side of the Commodore 64. After all, it's not just a great games machine
The Commodore 64 was a great home computer capable of playing some excellent games (for the time). While it was expensive, it was damn good.
That was the first computer I used that allowed me to access very rudimentary message boards. No graphics, music or anything except text.
Posts: 56 | From: Northeastern PA | Registered: Jun 2004 | Site Updates: 0
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.... has green eyes as well....
Member # 6575
We (me and my older brother) got Commodore 64 around 1985. I loved the machine and still do. The games, the sounds, all the different joystick models... everything.
We traded games and must´ve had hundreds of them. Ghostbusters was indeed a fun game, i remember The Last Ninja, Giana Sisters and Barbarian too. I think that the first game we got was Mastertronic´s Squirm. A fun Pac-man lookalike with worms
Posts: 5213 | From: Finland | Registered: Feb 2008 | Site Updates: 7
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I never was much of a computer-guy myself, but wasn't there an Airwolf game for the Commodore 64, which played the theme from the tv-series over and over again endlessly while playing ? I vaguely remember that i ever played something like that at my cousins' house back then.
Posts: 1099 | From: The Netherlands | Registered: Jun 2011 | Site Updates: 0
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I love music for games on the Commodore, there are some great pieces written for game. Composers such as Ben Daglish, Jonathan Dunn, Ron Hubbard, Maniacs Of Noise, Allister Brimble, A great wealth of music. You can get a SID Player, (SID is the audio chip in the Commodore 64), and play the music files that are rips off the games. You can get both free online.
Posts: 74 | From: Ireland | Registered: Mar 2010 | Site Updates: 0
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