Apart from old consoles I have only one computer with a CD/DVD drive. There are a couple of radio/CD players around the house but they’re never used.
I have a large wallet of “backup DVDs” in the attic that I made more than 10 years ago. The files on them are my photos that are on multiple drives and in cloud storage too. Probably a good thing as the discs are likely unreadable by now.
I also have one machine that reads 5.25″ discs from the early 1990s so you might realise where my priorities lie.
The resurgence of vinyl records may well be fuelled by the realisation that people like to have and hold physical objects.
Demos come in all shapes and sizes, 4k, 64k, intros, demos and more, but I think this is the first time I’ve seen a demo running on a Commodore 64 disc drive, or 1541 drive. You can read more about it on the Freespin homepage.
The 1541 family of drives have the same CPU as the Commodore 64 so adapting code to run on it will be easy for anyone familiar with the machine but what’s different here is that the drive is hooked up directly to the monitor to display the demo.
Sound is supplied by the drive, and as expected is the usual buzzing sounds until the end when it changes and becomes slightly more musical.
Worth a watch, even if you have no interest in demos. The idea of running software on a disc drive like this blows my mind!
This one’s for the C64 fans out there. The Commodore 64 had a huge piracy problem but the groups that distributed games often put small intros at the start to show off. The same thing happened on all platforms and I presume still does, but with the advent of Steam and Humble Bundle it’s easier to buy games than pirate them.
LukHash has created a great remix of the Fairlight intro music that will leave you wanting more. It starts off simple but then the remix kicks in and I love it! He has a Bandcamp page too where you can download an album of his work.
Memento Mori is a stunning Commodore 64 demo released by Genesis Project that won first place at the Function 2020 demo party recently. The picture above was shared by Raistlin/G*P on Twitter saying:
Razorback delivered this stunning piece for Memento Mori. This is a 408 pixel wide multicolour bitmap that we scrolled, right through the side borders, at 25fps, streaming from disk as we went. A world first on C64 🙂
A long time ago in 1987 a game called Barbarian made it’s way to the popular computers of the time. It featured brawny characters fighting to the death to rescue the scantily clad princess (or some such nonsense, game stories didn’t make much sense back then).
It was a great game with memorable music, fluid graphics, gruesome bloody moves and a goblin that would kick the head of your decapitated foe off the side of the arena. The gameplay got boring with time of course but and it was probably more infamous for the cover photo than anything else..
Anyway, after the short history lesson, I discovered that Andrea Baldiraghi announced the release of a new Masters of the Universe game on pico8. It’s inspired by Barbarian as Andrea says on the game homepage.
It has your favourite Masters of the Universe characters and even a rendition of the theme toon. In my first fight I managed to chop the head off Skeletor but the second devolved into a bloody fight to the end when I exhausted my opponent.
It’s embedded above, give it a go. Press Z to attack, X to defend and use the cursor keys to move!
The guys on the Retro Asylum podcast played Stunt Car Racer this month. That game is one of my favourites. A wild roller coaster of a game where you literally drive a car around a roller coaster.
I played the C64 version for hours on end and listening to them prompted me to set up FS-UAE again as I wanted to try out the Amiga version once more. I think I’ve only ever played that version in emulation as I didn’t have the game when I had an Amiga 500.
Anyway, FS-UAE is a great emulator based on the Winuae Amiga emulator. It uses openretro.org for database files including graphics and game information which is really helpful. It’s sort of an Amiga version of Gamebase64! Here’s a video describing how to set it up. I’ll leave it up to you to find the games and everything else but it’s not hard to find them.
Stunt Car Racer is an amazing game, and in my opinion still holds up today as a decent game. Sure, the graphics are simplistic, sound is limited but what is there is superbly polished.
The Amiga and Atari ST versions even had simultaneous multiplayer which I sadly never experienced but I’d love to know if FS-UAE could handle using some sort of virtual null modem cable to connect emulators on two machines together. It does emulate the Amiga serial port so there might be hope for the future. I found this thread about Winuae but people there didn’t have much luck.
So, what does Stunt Car Racer look like? Here’s someone who doesn’t know how to play it but he’s very entertaining and he learns as he goes..
The game is set on a roller coaster. Timing and speed are everything. You have to hit ramps at the right speed to jump gaps, and failing to line up a turn or a jump in time would result in a crash.
Here’s a much better driver, including the TNT version which I haven’t played yet but looks hard as nails!
 This game was created by AmiGer/CARE (http://www.discreetfx.com/care/) by modifying the original game Stunt Car Racer. The TNT of the title stands for “The New Tracks”. A track designer was written in Delphi and used to create 8 new tracks to race. The title screen and menu screen have been modified, as well as the colour palette.  The disk version has the track colours incorrect in the track preview window – they retain the reds from the original. The WHDLoad version fixes this problem.  2-player mode via null-modem connection.
This is one of the few games I play exclusively with the keyboard. Start a race and press “p” to pause, then f1 to redefine the keys. I usually use , . t g [space] and then press o to unpause.
Stunt Car Racer appeared on multiple platforms: Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Speccy, and Amstrad machines all had versions. Here’s a video comparing them. It’s amazing what Geoff Crammond and porting teams did back then!
Earlier this year, (2019 for those coming across this post in the future), the game was ported to the BBC Master and it flies along!
That looks way smoother and faster than the C64 version!
There is a sort-of modern remake. The game Assetto Corsa features the first track!
Stunt Car Racer is an amazing racing game. Track down the Amiga version, fire up Winuae or FS-UAE and give it a whirl. You’ll love it!
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