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C64 game suggestions for an Atari 800XL enthusiast?


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1 hour ago, _The Doctor__ said:

While I have little love for the ST series... I think that platform had the best Defender of The Crown version... play it for a long time and you'll see that or yourself. It happens... sometimes I have to admit things like this

Yes that is true.  ST has the greek fire and other options that the Amiga version is missing (flanking in battle, etc).  The GBA version is also very good, but I've always had the most fun with the C64 DOTC.

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28 minutes ago, wongojack said:

Yes that is true.  ST has the greek fire and other options that the Amiga version is missing (flanking in battle, etc).  The GBA version is also very good, but I've always had the most fun with the C64 DOTC.

Amiga version was rushed and it's true that the other platform versions have better gameplay. But tbh this game was always all about gfx and fx, when it was released in 1986 it was well ahead of everything else and has become the icon of the new era. When I saw that castle at some computer fair all of a sudden my C64 was looking old and tired... which is why I recommended to play them on Amiga (same goes for the rest of Cinemaware stuff). And yeah, ST kinda wins here because it has both sfx & better gameplay (though that gameplay isn't really much to write home about if you look at it critically - especially the silly minigames). But then, I think DotC 2 for CD32 is not a real sequel, but just DotC with all the updates, so the ball is back in Amiga's court ;)  Anyway, in 2021 we're lucky to be able to have fun with all these versions (even the magnificent ZX Spectrum one)  - especially seeing as it's not a long game. I actually forgot about the GBA one, though I think I've had it back in the day...must dig the rom up and give it a go again.

 

Now, Pirates!, that's an entirely different story. It's all about pure gameplay and the 8-bit simplicity actually serves its well. I've spent literally hundreds of hours playing it on C64 (even though loading it from tape was huge pain) but could never really find my feet in its many 16/32 bit iterations.

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7 hours ago, Lord Thag said:

This. But did you really expect any different though? This stuff happens like clockwork in these kinds of threads. ?

Fact is both computers are great, and they both do different things well. I'm FAR more of an Atari fan personally, but that's just me. The c64 has every right to the good reputation it has: it's a great little gaming pc from the early 80s. Everything else is just fanboy noise.

Ah yes, I see the weakness of the blocking system, quoted posts are still visible. Well said, they're both outstanding machines, hence the reason I own and love both. Why anyone would limit themselves to the one make and miss out on all the amazing titles available on the C64 defies rational logic.

Edited by Mazzspeed
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3 hours ago, Mr Robot said:

I'm just going to leave a couple of useful links here for fans of curation. 

 

 

Check the video description.

 

and I just have to mention this too. 

 

https://www.zombs-lair.com/blog/categories/c64-dreams

 

 

I've downloaded this archive and I have trouble launching most of the titles from the 1541 UII+. I haven't tried transferring them to the SD2IEC yet, perhaps they run better off that?

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15 minutes ago, Mazzspeed said:

I've downloaded this archive and I have trouble launching most of the titles from the 1541 UII+. I haven't tried transferring them to the SD2IEC yet, perhaps they run better off that?

I assume you mean OneLoad64 and not C64 Dreams. I only use those through emulation at the moment as I don't have real C64 hardware. According to the readme there are versions in MagicDesk CRT , crunched PRG and uncrunched PRG formats as well as the original dump files, original CRT's and all the stages in between.  The ultimate supports the CRT files, I don't know about the UII+

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Mr Robot said:

I assume you mean OneLoad64 and not C64 Dreams. I only use those through emulation at the moment as I don't have real C64 hardware. According to the readme there are versions in MagicDesk CRT , crunched PRG and uncrunched PRG formats as well as the original dump files, original CRT's and all the stages in between.  The ultimate supports the CRT files, I don't know about the UII+

 

 

Yep, referring to OneLoad64. The UII+ supports everything, but for some reason half the games in the OneLoad archive don't work? I haven't looked into why as I have another two archives full of games that I can use. I've got about 6000 games on this thing.

 

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51 minutes ago, Mr Robot said:

I haven't hit one that doesn't work in emulation yet. 

 

They must be made for emulation. I just tried to load Archon, it starts loading the .PRG, then says 'press play on tape' and drops to a ready prompt.

 

Every other archive works fine, it's just that one.

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Just now, Mr Robot said:

lol thats the whole point of the collection, single file, fast load, title image no fuss.

 

With the 1541 UII+ everything loads fast, you just get used to running the .PRG. Hence I tried a couple of times, it didn't seem to work, and I just gave up.

 

It seems like it's purposefully made for the EasyFlash cart.

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I'll have to have a look at the OneLoad V2, I have it but not tried many off it, I know he packed a load of them and I seem to remember people on Lemon64 weeding out some duds, so I doubt it's the Ultimate+. Also got C64 Dreams, again not played much with it because I've got the latest Gamebase V17 which is so packed with stuff and tested by soo many its rare to get a duff game. It is more for emulation, but there's a script somewhere out there to convert the files to almost recognisable names so to use it on real hardware.

 

Reminds me that .mad's Atari 8 Gamebase is due any day...Can't wait..

Edited by Mclaneinc
typo
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3 hours ago, Mclaneinc said:

I'll have to have a look at the OneLoad V2, I have it but not tried many off it, I know he packed a load of them and I seem to remember people on Lemon64 weeding out some duds, so I doubt it's the Ultimate+. Also got C64 Dreams, again not played much with it because I've got the latest Gamebase V17 which is so packed with stuff and tested by soo many its rare to get a duff game. It is more for emulation, but there's a script somewhere out there to convert the files to almost recognisable names so to use it on real hardware.

 

Reminds me that .mad's Atari 8 Gamebase is due any day...Can't wait..

I don't think I've got Gamebase v17 Mclaneinc, I'll have to look for that one.

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Gamebases are usually my go to collections on any platform, well, at least the ones which have been updated in recent years. You just can't beat them for thoroughness and extras. .mad. was also kind enough to make a special version of the .exe for me so I can actually make my own mini-collections depending on filters used.

This is the aforementioned Reorganiser which makes it easier to use on real hardware: https://www.obliterator918.com/gamebase-64-reorganizer-sd/

 

I did get OneLoad but haven't tried it yet. I like the idea of the no-fuss loading, because dealing with cracktors and trainers can be a rather tedious minigame in itself sometimes. But it's just a fraction of the C64 library...wish I could easily swap it with GB files, but it'd be quite a task as is.

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I have to say (puts on flamesuit), I actually enjoy some of the cracktros. The scrollers, sprites, color and SID tunes are pretty damn good sometimes.

 

I've got the Homessoft collection on my A8 which is pretty good, not too sure what other archives there are out there..

 

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Sure, I can appreciate a good cracktro too. But I tend to check out a lot of games out in a session, and then navigating them, especially trainers, can be a bit on a chore.

 

Gamebase includes everything, so there are a lot of "crap" games: type ins, clones, amateur prods etc. But I like them too, they are part of the platforms history, and sometimes hide real gems. But you can filter them out too.

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1 hour ago, youxia said:

Gamebases are usually my go to collections on any platform, well, at least the ones which have been updated in recent years.

I tend to aim for nointro/ 1g1r/ everdrive sets for most systems (especially the cart/cd based systems). Gamebase filenames are pretty much unusable outside the app and I'm a mac user so no gamebase app for me. The GB64 Browser for mac hasn't had an update since 2016.

 

1 hour ago, Mazzspeed said:

I have to say (puts on flamesuit), I actually enjoy some of the cracktros. The scrollers, sprites, color and SID tunes are pretty damn good sometimes.

#MeToo but I explore those when I'm wanting to see those instead of playing the games. If I just want to play a game, I'm looking for the one with the least fuss. 

 

1 hour ago, Mazzspeed said:

I've got the Homessoft collection on my A8 which is pretty good, not too sure what other archives there are out there.

Fandal, Homesoft, AtariMania, Atarionline and pigwa are the big collections, there is significant overlap between them, but they do all have stuff that doesn't appear in the others. IMHO if you have Fandal and Homesoft you have almost everything worth having and both are available as complete zipped collections.

 

Honorable mention to TOSEC who took everything they could find, mashed it all together, renamed it to Game [a1],Game [a2],Game [a3] lost all context and documentation and then re-released it to the world as definitive. ?

 

 

 

 

Edited by Mr Robot
TOSEC
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3 hours ago, Mazzspeed said:

I have to say (puts on flamesuit), I actually enjoy some of the cracktros. The scrollers, sprites, color and SID tunes are pretty damn good sometimes.

 

I've got the Homessoft collection on my A8 which is pretty good, not too sure what other archives there are out there..

 

Just in case... https://cutt.ly/HQAbjbR 

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2 hours ago, Mr Robot said:

I tend to aim for nointro/ 1g1r/ everdrive sets for most systems (especially the cart/cd based systems)

I agree No-Intro/Redump are better for cart/CD systems - but not for microcomputers. No-Intro also doesn't have the year tag, which is a huge letdown, at least for me (and faffing around with clrmamepro get this info is not much fun).

The everdrive micro sets are mostly TOSEC based, and speaking of which...

 

2 hours ago, Mr Robot said:

Honorable mention to TOSEC who took everything they could find, mashed it all together, renamed it to Game [a1],Game [a2],Game [a3] lost all context and documentation and then re-released it to the world as definitive. ?

Huh? That's about as unfair description of this project as I have ever read. There's plenty of context in the tags and names, documentation in PIX, and above all, it's one of the main sources of all numerous other packs out there - especially for platforms not as popular as A8. It's very purpose is to "take everything they can find", so others can build more specialised collections and so that we have a reference point. I've lost count of times it had something I was researching, even considering the better-known platforms.

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1 hour ago, youxia said:

Huh? That's about as unfair description of this project as I have ever read. There's plenty of context in the tags and names, documentation in PIX, and above all, it's one of the main sources of all numerous other packs out there - especially for platforms not as popular as A8. It's very purpose is to "take everything they can find", so others can build more specialised collections and so that we have a reference point. I've lost count of times it had something I was researching, even considering the better-known platforms.

I think my description of the TOSEC project is completely fair. I liken it to going into multiple libraries, taking every book off the shelves, tearing off the covers and throwing the pages into a dumpster and then then presenting the dumpster to the public as a combined collection.

 

I was around for the initial discussions about the TNC when grendel was starting the project, a lot of people came up with better solutions for some parts of it and he just flat out ignored them (which was his right, it was his project but now we are where we are). The TNC has space to fill in all the required detail but the problem lies with the people collecting the data. Lots of enthusiastic but inexperienced people pulling every file from everywhere they can and dumping it all together losing the context as they go. 

 

Notice there are no CAR files in the TOSEC collection? There actually are but the person who grabbed them didn't know there was a difference in the two formats and just renamed all the CAR's to BIN. There aren't very many, but there are a few (car was still a new format then). All the .atr files labelled [k-file] are just xex files with an atr header on them created with a tool written by @kenfused to allow them to work with SIO2SD. They should just be marked as hacks for a specific tool not as valid disk images.

 

Here's an example (I literally just picked one title at random)

 

747 Landing Simulator (1981)(APX)(US)[a][BASIC].atr
747 Landing Simulator (1981)(APX)(US)[a2][BASIC].atr
747 Landing Simulator (1981)(APX)(US)[BASIC].atr

 

The [a] disk is actually the original APX disk, [a2] is some PD disk I can't identify, the one not labelled with an [a] so most likely to be picked by someone as the primary version is actually a WACE disk, formatted as DOS2.5 (not DOS2 like the other two) and has the BAS file from the [a2] on it, renamed as WACE.BAS. For all I know the WACE disks that people who care about user group disks are collecting is currently missing the WACE disk that had 747 Landing Simulator on it, and there it is, in the TOSEC set unlikely to ever be found. 

 

This kind of stuff happens throughout the entire set, there are pirate compilations labelled as single titles, there are hacks labelled as comercial titles, there are files marked as bad that just have specific requirements to run and aren't bad at all, conversely there is stuff marked as needing OS-b (for example) when they actually require no more than 48K of RAM (for example). There are titles labelled as a specific publisher when that was actually the cracker. We have files not marked as bad that actually are, look for any atr that is 64K, there are loads of them, all caused by a (now fixed) bug in APE. It's a complete mess. Most of the missing information was available at the time of collecting but the over eager collectors just scraped all the files from everywhere they could and didn't bother to read the docs as they went. Now we have a dumpster of misnamed and unknown files. Thankfully the original sources were mostly saved and didn't go away so the info is still there but cleaning up the TOSEC mess is a never ending task. I can only assume that if the A8 sets are like that, all the other vintage computer systems from the time are the same. It's not such a problem for cart systems but most files for vintage computer systems came from communities like this one where they are documented in forum posts and readme files, all that data discarded and replaced with a simple [a2].


Have a look at Cowerings 'good' tools for an example of how it should be done, these existed before TOSEC and a lot of the naming convention was based on cowerings early work. Every hack, every fix, every crack, every translation, listed as it happened, with a date and full details. I just wish cowering had done more systems, there are still files in those sets that don't exist anywhere else but in TOSEC labelled as [a11] or something. 

 

 

 

 

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