Jump to content

What are some decent C64 classic arcade conversions?


Recommended Posts

Just recently I picked up a SD2IEC device for my C64 and started tinkering with it yesterday. I'm still trying to wrap my head around what does and doesn't work on this thing, but in the process I stumbled upon a conversion of Wizard of Wor which seems to be quite solid. That got me curious about seeing what other respectable arcade ports may exist on the C64. Through some basic reading on this forum I have seen Gyruss and Satan's Hollow mentioned, but I'm curious to know what else is out there. I'm particularly interested in conversions of games from the late '70s and early '80s.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Generally speaking, nearly all of the arcade translations are great. Even and especially the early stuff that was originally released on cartridge. Though Donkey Kong is an example that was improved years later by Ocean. And others again as some of these have been "arcadified" by ambitious developers recently.


Check out www.lemon64.com for reviews.


Might be easier to ask which ones are not so hot. Bet the list would be much smaller. :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, Wizard of Wor is arguably better than the arcade imo, a lot more fair overall.


Other conversions I would recommend include Spy Hunter, Gyruss, Moon Patrol, Bionic Commando, LED Storm, Bubble Bobble, Buggy Boy (aka Speed Buggy), and two recent reworkings, Commando Arcade SE and Ghost 'n Goblins Arcade.

Edited by Mayhem
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would imagine that all single filed games will load & run as intended from the SD2IEC. Some multi loading games using Kernel loaders will work too. Generally it would be demos or D64 dumps of original games that you'll have difficulties with, those relying on the ability to patch the drive with custom loader routines. Since the SD2IEC doesn't have a CPU and RAM, at best it can detect which type of custom loader the program asks for and serves it that way, but only a handful of the most common routines like Epyx FastLoad, The Final Cartridge, JiffyDOS, Action Replay 6 with 1581 ROM hack and the original Dreamload routine will work, anything further customized is not recognized.


I can't remember how the original arcade games play, but I think that Up'n'Down and the disk version of Tapper (there appears to be a cut-down cartridge version too) also are sold Bally Midway/Sega titles launched simultaneously to Spy Hunter. For newer arcade games, you might have reservations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm particularly interested in conversions of games from the late '70s and early '80s.

Berzerk (Redux) is quite good.


The NTSC compatible Donkey Kong by Ocean which originally was PAL only is one of the better DK ports.


Centipede, Defender, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, Jungle Hunt, Moon Patrol, Ms. Pacman, Pac-Man, Pole Position, Robotron: 2084 are all inclusive in the 1984 Atarisoft Collection release.


I have always enjoyed Qix under the C64.


Eagle Empire for the curious only, as it, besides the 2600 port, are the only ones released for Arcade Phoenix under classic systems. Unfortunately, it leaves much to be desired.


The C64 port of Mr. Do's Castle is superior to the hard controlling 5200 version, as well as the slow-paced ColecoVision one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the suggestions guys, I appreciate it. I'll check out the ones mentioned. If anyone knows of others, let me know.


For newer arcade games, you might have reservations.

Oh yeah, I've looked into a few of these and it's best to not expect a whole lot from them, haha.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I could be wrong (*), but on the Top 100 list voted by Lemon64 users only two games (Bubble Bobble and Buggy Boy) appear to be arcade conversions. Some of the other games may have existed in the arcades as well, but originated as computer or console games.



(*) Obviously I am, as Wizard of Wor and Rainbow islands (among others) are on the list with default setting 50 votes. Altering the number of votes required changes the list in either direction.

Edited by carlsson
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Agree about Double Dragon II.


Arkanoid stood out as incredibly well done, both the sound and the graphics closely matching the arcade.


Kung-Fu was an excellent conversion with an enhanced soundtrack.


Gauntelet was well done in the first port (down to the theme perfect background music in the treasure rooms) but had some bad follow up versions.


The Outrun ports reproduced the fantastic soundtrack perfectly and had excellent gameplay.


What I really like about good ports is that it's like having another fun variation of the genre :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Arkanoid stood out as incredibly well done, both the sound and the graphics closely matching the arcade.



I LOVED Arkanoid on the C-64. Besides being a competent overall conversion, it supported multiple controller types, including my preferred paddles. I was able to beat the game because of that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Super Pac-Man

Donkey Kong

Ms. Pac-Man

Ghosts 'n Goblins (and the more recent Ghosts 'n Goblins Arcade)

Mr. Do's Castle

Satan's Hollow


Bubble Bobble



Gauntlet 2


Arkanoid II: Revenge of DOH

Space Harrier

Marble Madness

Sierra's Frogger

Frogger II





These OTTOMH. There are more, for certain.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tried out a few of these over the weekend. Buggy Boy, Satan's Hollow and Arkanoid were fantastic--really solid looking games, and Arkanoid in particular is very faithful to the arcade game. I need to see if I have a paddle controller laying around somewhere so I can play it the correct way.


Ghosts 'n Goblins is interesting. As a fan of the series, it's neat to experience. However, it seems very glitchy on my NTSC system, which I understand is going to be a common thing with a lot of software being written for PAL systems first and foremost.


OutRun was better than I expected--it was actually playable! However, I couldn't get to the first checkpoint and I don't think I was doing anything wrong. Weird.


Donkey Kong by Ocean looked like it had lots of potential, but it froze during the startup sequence on the first board.


I haven't tried any others, but look forward to experimenting with more. Thanks for the recommendations, all!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't forget these.

Nice! Pac-Man's not playable, but looks good (colors are off in the photo, Pac-Man's yellow in person). A little bit's off the top & bottom of the screen.



Frogger's very playable, like Pac-Man the top & bottom of the screen are clipped.



audio causes the picture to distort a bit, no distortion in the silent demo mode:


  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...