Rick Dangerous 2 CRT conversion

Another legendary game converted to MagicDesk cartridge format πŸ™‚ As it is typical for an 8-bit game, it’s frustratingly hard as a hell. But Rick Dangerous games always delivered critical dose of charm and fun experience to stay forever fond to hearts of 8/16 bit fans. In modern days I am playing mostly Amiga WHDL release because of 16-bit graphics, but Commodore 64 version of game is 100% excellent also. Gameplay is same and 8-bit graphics (for this type of game) is top notch. After all, C64 version was my first contact with Rick Dangerous and where most of the memories were made πŸ™‚

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Gremlins 2 CRT conversion

Great looking and sounding C64 game but hard as a hell! In a typical 8-bit fashion, it requires you to memorize enemy movement patterns to make initial progress. With a little bit of invested effort, you learn what to expect from those little nasties and where they usually appear, get used to your movement limitations (keyboard is much more precise for me!) and suddenly it becomes more enjoyable “let me try just one more time” game. Although, still frustratingly challenging, even with in-game hi-score infinity life cheat (SINATRA) πŸ™‚ Game was popular movie license and C64/16-bit versions were published by Elite (developed by Elite associated MotiveTime Ltd.) while Z80 versions were developed/published by also famous Spanish 8-bit software company TopoSoft . I remember getting it as a Turbo250 tape version with AR feezed levels in 1991. πŸ™‚ Because of war outbreak in my home country in 90’s I never had a chance to check disk version, so I remember making my own one, from those AR freezes (to be proper working disk game – all that using C64 πŸ™‚ ).

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Galaga 2021

Commodore 64 never had proper 1981 Namco’s Galaga port. Although very simplistic in gameplay nature, I somehow always enjoyed it as a quick challenge type of games, especially excellently realized 1993. Amiga Deluxe GalagaΒ port. Relatively recently, C64 fans got couple of excellent gameplay Galaga ports. In 2017. we got commercially published Galencia (also fully converted to Magic Desk CRT for my gameplay experience enjoyment, but since game is commercial I am not publishing it here) and in 2021. proper coin-up arcade port by Arlasoft, with full KickAssembler source available on Github. Although it’s a single-file version on C64, for personal RetroArch enjoyment, I converted latest version (1.06) to Magic Desk cartridge. Play it in browser here, or download Magic Desk/Ocean CRT/bin file for EPROM programming here.


Summer Camp cartridge conversion

Eh … Although this CRT conversion was completed in January of this year, everyday life events, PiStorm Amiga Emu68 πŸ™‚ The Long Dark πŸ™‚ and available free time made me to forget to publish this CRT conversion of Summer Camp. But thanks to Michael’s reminder in Winter Camp CRT post comments, here it is – Summer Camp CRT conversion of Thalamus 1990. game.

I remember I spent hours playing this as a kid πŸ™‚ I simply was hooked up by it’s cartoony graphics, catchy tunes and challenging gameplay.Β  Yes, it suffers from frustrating controls so I recommend using keyboard for more precise control, especially if you are playing this on PC emulator. BTW, I am able to get to level 3 without a lost life πŸ˜‰

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Retro Debugger v0.64.62

Two weeks since it’s release and it already became my default “visualization”/testing part of disassembling/reassembling toolkit, right next to Regenerator. I ocassionally used it in older versions when it was still called C64 Debugger, but because of it’s instability and unusual UI interface, I still preferred command line in Vice … Which was honestly suffering when I compare it to the luxury Retro Debugger provides. But really πŸ™‚ With new name, new GUI interface using DeaR ImGui, NES/Atari XL/XE support, and as I am noticing, excellent stability, I rarely need to start vice anymore πŸ™‚ The perfect tool for C64 developer.

Yes, it’s still having some drawbacks or not fully functional parts, but hey, this is still just v0.64.62. Besides, source code is available at Github, as win/linux/macos binaries also.


6502 Tricks and traps by Joe Holt

Tips for surviving 6502 assembly-language programming

[Joe Holt is a freelance technical writer. He can be reached at 476 West Main Rd., El Centro, CA 92243. This is article from 1985.]

WITH THE ADVENT of complex microprocessors whose operation codes (op codes) begin to resemble some high-level languages, the days of the 6502 seem numbered. Indeed, a microprocessor with only three 8-bit registers and a 64 K-byte address space is apparently no match for a piece of silicon that can walk through 4 gigabytes of memory in 32-bit strides and work with hundreds of bits worth of registers. I won’t try to fool you: The 6502 will not be around forever. But when the last of its species emerges from the forge, it will be joining an installed base of more than 3 million 6502-based computers. There is merit, therefore, in discussing the peculiarities of this dying breed, the ins and outs of this most nonorthogonal microprocessor.

The 6502 has three 8-bit registers (only one of which can be used in arithmetic and Boolean operations), a single-page (256-byte) fixed stack, and an optimized performance when dealing with the first 256 bytes of memory. But what may be considered a tight architecture is befuddled by an instruction set full of inconsistency and seeming favoritism to certain combinations of addressing modes and op codes. Steve Wozniak even admitted that the only reason he put a 6502 in his Apple II was because it was cheap.

In order to gain the most benefit from the 6502, an assembly-language programmer must understand these idiosyncrasies and us them to his or her advantage.

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C64 Cartridge formats – “Ocean”

“Ocean” Game Cartridges

“Type A” (up to 256k):

  • 128k Batman
  • 128k Battle Command
  • 128k Double Dragon
  • 128k Navy Seals
  • 128k Pang
  • 128k Robocop 3
  • 128k Toki
  • 256k Chase H.Q. II
  • 256k Robocop 2
  • 256k Shadow of the Beast
  • 256k Space Gun

“Type B” (512k):

  • 512k Terminator 2

Note: other sizes (such as 32k) exist in the wild as crt files, but these do not seem to be official ocean cartridges.

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