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Zapped to the Past podcast (C64)


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Amazing. I didn't realise Rupert was a Martin Walker game.

 

My C64 experience back in the day was somewhat different to @Unofficial Who's. I had an abundance of games thanks at first to friends with games, a Doubler 64 and multiple tape decks; later, an older friend of a friend having access to BBSes, so suddenly cracked games were available in their dozens; and then a bit later, getting a disk drive and an Expert cartridge, making copying those cracks even easier. Yes, I was a dirty pirate. What little money I did have went on buying games though, so it's not all bad.

 

Rupert was one of those games I'd load up now and then to marvel at, but playing it wasn't much fun really, so I'd quickly move onto something else.

 

Hypersports skeet shooting remains one of the best things ever. 

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Kennedy Approach was a game I played in the early 90's once a friend gifted me his old disk drive and a box of discs. And it wasn't bad. Not 'exciting.' But as a crisis management game it worked well and the controls felt pretty intuitive.

 

KennedyApproach_Animation.gif

 

Playing it again now....and it's a little sedate at first. Play it on level 5 though and you'll be facing conflicts within a minute. This works really well as it's simulating an old ATC interface. There's a brief overview here. https://www.c64-wiki.com/wiki/Kennedy_Approach

 

I guess it's spiritual successor is the casual game Flight Control.

 

craig-ios-flight-control.jpg

 

 

Andy Hollis retired back in 2006 after a long career according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Hollis

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Unofficial Who said:

 

I've spent a lot of the afternoon playing it. It's weird how the game can go from "it's quiet, too quiet" to planes everywhere!

Indeed. This is my definition of a hidden gem, and as we say, really play's to the C64 strengths in what it could actually do.

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I never played Kennedy Approach but I think we had a demo which was just all the speech from it. I guess like a phone sound board. Speech always impressed me on the C64, so much so I bought the awful Fyler Fox because it promised speech on the box. The publisher even called the range "Tymac Talkies".

Flyer-Fox-Tymac-Commodore-64.jpg

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3 hours ago, carleton said:

Air Traffic Chaos on the DS was excellent but that too was quite a stressful game.

Amazing that simulating one of the most stressful jobs in the world would lead to equally stressful games... Makes you wonder what we want from games at times...

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Summer Games 2

 

Quite rightly described as one of the crown jewels of the C64. I've got a lot of good memories of this game. My mother's boyfriend bought the tape version and his kids and my brother and I spent hours playing this. The events are great but also over quickly with three of the longest allowing two players to compete at once. And unlike other sports games at the time the controls involved timing rather than wrecking your joystick. This game ruined me in terms of expectations for the system. Incredibly fluid animation and a fully animated intro and outro!

 

SummerGames2StartAnimation.gif

 

Anyway let's look at the events.

 

Triple Jump

 

SummerGames2_D1_Animation.gif

 

This feels like a statement of intent right here. Thrashing the joystick will get you nowhere, it's all about timing the hop, skip and jump. Even though it's just a track even there's so much detail packed in. The way you can eat dirt if you trip. And that monitor about the crowd that will replay a winning jump.

 

Rowing

 

SummerGames2_D2_Animation.gif

 

This is the most satisfying event for me once I got used to the rhythm of the stroke. Left and right moves your rower but you have to time the strokes in order to get the most out of your rowing. Waggling the joystick quickly just leaves you making tiny movements.

 

Javelin

 

SummerGames2_D3_Animation.gif

 

The closest event to old school games like Track and Field but really satisfying when you can get over 90m.

 

Equestrian

 

SummerGames2_D4_Animation.gif

 

This takes a lot of practice to get a clean run however failing at points is incredibly funny with the horse just stopping dead and making you slowly back up. Unless you really fail a jump and have both horse and rider collapse. Really nice parallax scrolling here too.

 

High Jump

 

SummerGames2_D5_Animation.gif

 

This was the weakest event for our group. It just seemed a little fiddly and was the event we were most likely to skip.

 

Fencing

 

SummerGames2_D6_Animation.gif

 

Great little fighting game and I loved the cheat used here to use big characters in a narrow strip of the screen and hide that by having the viewpoint from the judges table. The event most likely to annoy nearby adults due to the awful klaxon used for nullified hits.

 

Cycling

 

SummerGames2_D7_Animation.gif

 

The only event that drags a little. Cleverly you pedel by moving the stick in a circular motion. But you need to build speed up carefully, too fast and you can slip.

 

Kayaking

 

SummerGames2_D8_Animation.gif

 

The rapids were a lot stronger this time than I remember but it's a satisfying time trial with three gates that need to be approached differently.

 

And then after all that you have this amazing post game animation. Possibly the finest end sequence on the C64 with a sunset, a jetman and fireworks.

 

SummerGames2_Animation_Ende.gif

 

An amazing compilation, some of the events are better than lone offerings by other companies (I'm looking at you Kayak and Harvey Smith Show Jumper.) And most of the events still hold up playing them 35 years later.

 

A sports game so good that I still love it despite being bored by sports in real life. If you've lost the manual and need a refresher then here is a good resource (it's where I got these gifs) https://www.c64-wiki.com/wiki/Summer_Games_II

 

 

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Yep. Properly amazing game. Don't forget you can also include the events from the first game as well for a total of sixteen events for a truly epic session. 

 

The other thing here is look at those gifs. The c64 gets knocked for being muddy browns but there's so much colour and brightness in those gifs. Amazing achievement for 1985.

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Monster Trivia (or The Trivia Monster) feels like some sort of weird outsider art project. It has that Paul Norman feel but it's weird to see it applied to a trivia game.

 

First of all that advert. Previously mentioned in the podcast.

 

51628-monster-trivia-commodore-64-front-

 

ummmmmmm, ok. Let's move to the lo-fi look.

 

127549-monster-trivia-commodore-64-scree

 

It's really ugly and there were a few times where I gave the right answer and it wasn't entered exactly the way it wanted it. Marks for being one of the first trivia games but the official Trivial Pursuit (to come in a couple of years) is a much better option. I can't see this being played more than once, the sound effects when you get an answer wrong is just too annoying (along with the all too slow sequence of cracks appearing in the wall.)

 

 

 

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So the games I didn't play.

 

Hyper Sports

 

I would have played this back on my old C64 but only because I had one of these.

 

blog-0099118001435354344.thumb.jpg.b2eaa

 

That thing had a steel shaft, not even the marathon in Activision's Decathlon could kill this. But there's no way I'd attempt a joystick waggler with the more fragile controllers I use now. (Not to mention my aging wrists.) As an aside, my partner found this in an old box recently and being unfamiliar with joysticks asked me "Um, is there something we need to talk about?"

 

I did watch a playthrough here 

 and it looked the biz but it really suffered from poor release timing. I mean going against Summer Games 2 in the same month it probably suffered the same fate as Battleborn being released the same time as Overwatch.

 

MiG Alley Ace was released originally in the US in 1983. It should not have been released in the UK in 1985. Especially at the same time as Kennedy Approach. Both games are by Andy Hollis but I could imagine someone buying this aged simulator, being disappointed and then passing on Kennedy Approach.

 

564003-mig-alley-ace-commodore-64-screen

 

I mean look at it! Maybe acceptable as cover tape fodder by 1985, not full price.

 

Kayak is impressive for what it's trying to do but again timing. You could buy this OR you could buy Summer Games 2 which has a really good kayaking game and seven other events.

 

 

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I'd be surprised if Hypersports suffered in sales at all given the Imagine marketing train and it being a port of a huge Konami arcade game.

 

I either didn't know you could play Summer Games events in Summer Games II or I've forgotten. That's pretty cool. There's probably a crack with both combined in a cartridge image; I'll have to check.

 

The Epyx Games series really were a cut above.

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Yeah, Hyper Sports wasn't damaged sales wise. It was pretty big over here in the UK. Also, its not much of a joystick waggler, either. It also has that Galway soundtrack. 

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12 hours ago, squirtle said:

Yeah, Hyper Sports wasn't damaged sales wise. It was pretty big over here in the UK. Also, its not much of a joystick waggler, either. It also has that Galway soundtrack. 

 

Galway soundtrack? I suspect Vangelis might have something to say about that.

 

Still impressive, my partner instantly recognised it when I was playing the video yesterday.

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52 minutes ago, squirtle said:

@Unofficial Who it's a Galway interpretation and it's fucking amazing. 

 

I'm not debating that. It's amazing. The 80's were a bit of a wild west when it came to music licensing, too small an industry to be noticed. It makes rereleases more difficult, I remember a few years back the arcade rerelease of Bomb Jack had to have some of the in game music changed because it was a little too close to a Beatles track.

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1 minute ago, Unofficial Who said:

 

I'm not debating that. It's amazing. The 80's were a bit of a wild west when it came to music licensing, too small an industry to be noticed. It makes rereleases more difficult, I remember a few years back the arcade rerelease of Bomb Jack had to have some of the in game music changed because it was a little too close to a Beatles track.

Yeah. So much sid music is an electronic music track. So much, but that, in my opinion, does not in any way lessen the replications of the tunes. 

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7 minutes ago, squirtle said:

Yeah. So much sid music is an electronic music track. So much, but that, in my opinion, does not in any way lessen the replications of the tunes. 

 

He gets even better when he moves on to his own compositions. The music for Wizball is still some of my favourite music period.

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1 minute ago, Unofficial Who said:

 

He gets even better when he moves on to his own compositions. The music for Wizball is still some of my favourite music period.

Hmmm... Possibly... But Yie-Ar Kung-Fu is simply the best sid tune ever. With the possible exception of knucklebusters. 

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On 30/03/2021 at 22:39, Unofficial Who said:

 

The Last Ninja puts that to shame. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Ninja

 

 

I don't think I ever saw a pirate copy of The Last Ninja.

 

Please order a large mountain of salt to take with those Mark Cale sales figures.

 

On 02/04/2021 at 03:40, Unofficial Who said:

 

 

Kayak is impressive for what it's trying to do but again timing. You could buy this OR you could buy Summer Games 2 which has a really good kayaking game and seven other events.

 

 

 

I I did play this one a lot, controls are really awkward but I got better at it with perseverance.

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Episode 8 is out and covers the following.

 

-Nick Faldo Plays the Open

-Frankie Goes to Hollywood

-Merlin

-Ian Botham’s Test Cricket

-Graham Gooch’s Test Cricket

-Rescue on Fractalus

-Out on a Limb

-The Great American Cross Country Road Race

-Finders Keepers

 

Loads of sports games here which I'm not going to cover so feel free to jump in. A couple of classics though which slipped through my grasp back in the 80's.

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I remember the TV show Otherworld.  From memory it only ran for about ten episodes.

 

The Otherworld of the title had really fascistic overtones and it made an impact thanks mainly to the wonderful theme tune. 

 

 

It also has Jonathan Banks.

 

Edit: Looking at that video it must surely have been an influence on a young Roland Emmerich.

 

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I might not have much time this week to play and write much but here's something on a game I didn't play and won't play Nick Faldo Plays the Open.

 

I'm pretty sure this didn't come out in Oz, I don't think Argus had a distributor down here and I wasn't interested in Golf. At least until Leaderboard come out.

 

I do remember specifically one screenshot in C&VG showing Nick with his caddie. Is it the only golf game that shows a caddie? It's the only one I remember. But it's a busy week and I don't have any love for this so I'll leave it for others to reminisce about.

 

NickFaldoPlaysTheOpen_Animation.gif

 

If you're quick you can see the options as mentioned on the podcast.

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