Youtube feeds my C64 Nostalgia

It’s all Mark’s fault. He mentioned Codemasters, then Dizzy, then he posted this movie of Magicland Dizzy completed in super-fast time. I had to search for more.

The following post contains several Youtube videos so click more if you want to see Gyroscope, Ghosts and Goblins, Barbarian and other Commodore 64 classics brought to life again!

And search I did! Look through Youtube for C64 and you’ll find a huge collection of Commodore 64 related videos. As I scrolled down the list of videos thinking, “Oh! I remember that, and that, and that, and wow Renegade too?” Then I stumbled upon this video of Gyroscope completed!

Gyroscope was the first game I owned on floppy disk. Yes youngsters, some of us did our time loading software from cassette tapes, rewinding and forwarding to the right place. Way back around 1989 I was given a 1541 disk drive for my C64 and someone, I don’t remember who, gave me Gyroscope on disk. It’s an addictive game but overshadowed (unfairly in my opinion) by similar games of the time.

Then there’s Ghosts’n’Goblins which I spent many hours and days hacking on and fiddling with the assembler code running the game. Don’t ya just love the music?

Stunt Car Racer is one of my all time favourite games. It’s a roller-coaster ride of a car racing game, set on a track that goes up and down and around just like a roller coaster! Author Geoff Crammond is a genius and managed to make the C64, Amiga and Atari ST games play exactly the same. Obviously the C64 version didn’t have the filled graphics of the more powerful 16-bit computers but I’ve spent more time at this game than any other, ever. Must dig up UAE or Vice and play it again! In the video below (of the Amiga version) you’ll get a taster for what it’s like, but ignore the really terrible driving of the player! That first jump should have been taken at 170mph!

Finally, for the fight fans there was Barbarian! It’s a one or two player sword fighting game with great graphics, gameplay and sound effect. I loved how you could chop the head off your opponent with a swirling swing of your sword! Who could not like a game overlooked by a woman in a bikini? Ah yes, teenage years.

I tried to find Cabal, a conversion of the arcade game, but it’s not there. That was another game I knew the code of intimately as I hacked it to see what did what! Also missing is another one of my favourites, Armalyte by Thalamus but here’s a similar shoot ’em up that uses the CMD SuperCPU and 4MB of RAM. I suspect it was more a work of love than a commercial success?

I’d love to see someone post a walk through of Creatures and of course the great torture screens of Creatures 2. If you wondered what happened to the Roland Brothers then read Wikipedia’s page on Apex Computer Productions. I’ll have to get my hands on Mayhem in Monsterland again. That game really pushed the C64 and did unbelievable things to a small 1Mhz 8bit machine. Absolutely stunning!

What platform and games did you play when you were growing up?

Author: Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Google+ and Twitter.

6 thoughts on “Youtube feeds my C64 Nostalgia”

  1. Oh god! More time wasting ahead now. There are tonnes of games
    across all ages and platforms on youtube. Don’t look for ‘toy commercials’ or you’ll drown in nostalgia

  2. Don’t waste your time on youtube, go to and download an emulator, dont expect to get any work done for a month or two

  3. Glad to hear it. 🙂 I too had searched for youtube vids of Armalyte in the past, and had been disappointed to find none. Recently I had another look and found someone had uploaded a 2 player vid, which was all very well and good, except the players didn’t manage to survive long enough to see the end of level one. Deciding that it was time to take action, I donned my cloak and wig, and fired up my trusty c64 (or rather, my trusty c64 emulator), determined to end this underrepresentation of the greatest c64 shooter of all time.

    In hindsight, I can see that the cloak and wig may not have been strictly necessary, but no matter.

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