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Zapped to the Past podcast (C64)


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3 hours ago, carleton said:

I listened to the Entombed episode this week. I agree that the death stuff is needless and ruins an interesting puzzle game. So much so it was the first game I worked out my own pokes for. It’s a much better game for just relaxing and exploring.

 

 

 

There were a few C64 games I poked and had a better time with. Cauldron 2 and Spindizzy being two that come to mind.

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Episode 5 is up! Games covered

 

Games covered in the episode:

-Beach Head 2

-Clumsy Colin – Action Biker

-Jack Charlton’s Match Fishing

-The Rocky Horror Picture Show

-Nutcracka

-Way of the Exploding Fist

-Thing on a Spring

-A View to a Kill

-Stop The Express

 

Can't wait to listen to it and revisit some of these.

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These early issues are really emphasising how I lived off budget games back then. Big Mac and Action Biker are two games I played a lot. I’ve not listened yet but I assume the latter fares well.

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Beach-Head II - The dictator strikes back

 

Beachhead2title.gif

 

This is a fantastic game...for two players and you're on the C64. If you're on your own then Raid Over Moscow is a safer bet.

 

This didn't get much play in our house. We borrowed it off a friend but my brother had low tolerance to both my skills and the multiload from cassette.

 

The two turret screens at the start are the strongest. Where modern games allow for a few bullet marks on scenery Beach Head 2 allows you to paint the screen!

 

Beachhead2attack.gif

 

The second screen is the weirdest with the dictator wielding the lamest traps, like a cut price James Bond.

 

Beachhead2rescue.gif

 

Let's go through those traps the dictator has. 

-A man with a rock.

-A moveable trapdoor with a man who politely puts down a hand grenade or mine.

-A red tractor with a machine gun.

-A tank with a big gun which is ignored in favour of slowly crushing prisoners.

 

You can stop the slowly escaping prisoner to stop him in his tracks by shooting him which he does not like at all.

 

The third screen is only playable for the allies and it's a vertical version of the side scrolling bit from Raid Over Moscow. But this looks seriously drab compared to the rest of the game.

 

Beachhead2rescape.gif

 

And then the rather polite knife fight. Best of nine which takes FOREVER. (It was my brother's favourite bit.)

 

Beachhead2duel.gif

 

I played this a lot in single played and back in the day playing the computer as the Allies I could get all the soldiers past the gun (and would even take it out with the odd grenade) and rescue all twenty of the soldiers.

 

Disagree with both the hosts here, Beach Head and Raid Over Moscow had more legs for this single player.

 

It's telling that this only shines as a C64 game. The graphics for three of the four screens are great with their fake 3D look and the speech by Electronic Speech Systems. The tiny figures in the first section remind me a lot of Lemmings with so much smooth animation in such tiny sprites. It's something that didn't really translate over to the Amstrad and the Spectrum and it's telling that stripped down to the gameplay there isn't much here.

 

@squirtle, when you were playing this back in the day was it the tape or disc version?

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@Unofficial WhoI was a tape lad. Never had a disk drive, couldn't afford one. Graham had a disk drive which is where we used to play it two player. Still, I think this is fun and I think there is much more strategy in this than the more arcadey predecessors which is why I rate it higher. ROM is let down by the opening hangar and the original, whilst better than ROM, just isn't as fun as this. And finally, this had the baseball innings fight against the dictator at the end which is great fun in single or multi player. 

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4 hours ago, squirtle said:

@Unofficial WhoI was a tape lad. Never had a disk drive, couldn't afford one. Graham had a disk drive which is where we used to play it two player. Still, I think this is fun and I think there is much more strategy in this than the more arcadey predecessors which is why I rate it higher. ROM is let down by the opening hangar and the original, whilst better than ROM, just isn't as fun as this. And finally, this had the baseball innings fight against the dictator at the end which is great fun in single or multi player. 

 

Oh I have to disagree there. The hanger screen was amazing!

 

Raidovermoscowhangar.GIF

 

It had full 3D movement, gravity and inertia. Took me a long time to get one craft out but in the end I perfected being able to launch in seconds with a graceful left handed curve. (Also of note, if you played around with the filter settings on the options screen and changed it all the way to treble you could change the warm up time of the craft to near zero.)

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14 hours ago, carleton said:

These early issues are really emphasising how I lived off budget games back then. Big Mac and Action Biker are two games I played a lot. I’ve not listened yet but I assume the latter fares well.

 

Having been there at the time I'd love to hear your take or stories about Action Biker.

 

Today was the first time I played it and it felt like the premise was "what if we made an open world village farming lot version of Kikstart in 3D?

 

Action_biker_(c64_version).jpg

 

It didn't hold my interest long but it did hold it long enough to notice that wrap around map. Something that made sense in the 80's but by modern standards gave it a Twilight Zone feel.

 

Ambitious for a 1.99 game.

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4 minutes ago, Unofficial Who said:

 

Having been there at the time I'd love to hear your take or stories about Action Biker.

 

Today was the first time I played it and it felt like the premise was "what if we made an open world village farming lot version of Kikstart in 3D?

 

Action_biker_(c64_version).jpg

 

It didn't hold my interest long but it did hold it long enough to notice that wrap around map. Something that made sense in the 80's but by modern standards gave it a Twilight Zone feel.

 

Ambitious for a 1.99 game.

 

It definitely had an open world feel to it despite the tiny map. It just felt relaxing to drive about and mess around on the roller coaster etc. Then there were the little tense moments when you had to make a tricky jump which spiced things up. It always felt like it was your own fault if you made an error, something which was unusual back then. There was an actual reward in getting new items as well, like the gears or a better fuel tank. Again that was quite unusual for the time.

I still don't think I understand how it does the isometric look if I'm honest, it's a cleverly programmed game.

It also had great Hubbard music.

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1 minute ago, carleton said:

 

There was an actual reward in getting new items as well, like the gears or a better fuel tank. Again that was quite unusual for the time.

I still don't think I understand how it does the isometric look if I'm honest, it's a cleverly programmed game.

It also had great Hubbard music.

 

There's some Metroid style level design right there with objects giving you new abilities verses The Rocky Horror Show where the 15 items are essentially a 15 part key.

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11 minutes ago, Unofficial Who said:

 

There's some Metroid style level design right there with objects giving you new abilities verses The Rocky Horror Show where the 15 items are essentially a 15 part key.

 

I suppose there is. Although I don't think any areas were locked if you didn't have certain items, it just made it easier.

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44 minutes ago, Unofficial Who said:

 

Oh I have to disagree there. The hanger screen was amazing!

 

Raidovermoscowhangar.GIF

 

It had full 3D movement, gravity and inertia. Took me a long time to get one craft out but in the end I perfected being able to launch in seconds with a graceful left handed curve. (Also of note, if you played around with the filter settings on the options screen and changed it all the way to treble you could change the warm up time of the craft to near zero.)

It's the eight bit equivalent of this...

 

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15 hours ago, carleton said:

These early issues are really emphasising how I lived off budget games back then. Big Mac and Action Biker are two games I played a lot. I’ve not listened yet but I assume the latter fares well.

See the post above yours...

 

Actually, I didn't mind it, but just had the same issues I had with it back then. It's a biking game that punishes you for going fast, which belies the action part of the title... 

 

As an aside, the first budget title I remember us getting was Pedro... That left an awful taste in our mouth and some Jet Pac clone that I can't remember the name of... I'll head to Lemon 64 and see if I can remember...

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7 minutes ago, Unofficial Who said:

No!!!!

 

Oh actually yes I guess. I never did get out of the garage in Driver. 

Like Driver, the hangar sequence adds nothing to the game and actually acts a barrier to the rest. I'm not saying it isn't well programmed with gravity and inertia and that stuff, but it serves only as a pointless hindrance opposed to anything else. Consider the fact that these are the best pilots in the world, trained to repel nuclear missiles and take down the pesky Ruskies, yet they can't manage to fly out of a hangar. It doesn't make a lot of sense when viewed like that. And I know so many 8 bit games make little sense, but this is attempting a narrative of sorts and so this really should just have been a cut scene. The same goes for the really pointless bit of flying down to the planet. There's no sense of anything other then a boring bit where you control a dot heading towards another dot. 

 

There is a lot to like in ROM, but it all comes later, to the game's detriment.

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4 minutes ago, squirtle said:

Like Driver, the hangar sequence adds nothing to the game and actually acts a barrier to the rest. I'm not saying it isn't well programmed with gravity and inertia and that stuff, but it serves only as a pointless hindrance opposed to anything else. Consider the fact that these are the best pilots in the world, trained to repel nuclear missiles and take down the pesky Ruskies, yet they can't manage to fly out of a hangar. It doesn't make a lot of sense when viewed like that. And I know so many 8 bit games make little sense, but this is attempting a narrative of sorts and so this really should just have been a cut scene. The same goes for the really pointless bit of flying down to the planet. There's no sense of anything other then a boring bit where you control a dot heading towards another dot. 

 

There is a lot to like in ROM, but it all comes later, to the game's detriment.

 

We'll have to agree to disagree there, it's my favourite part of ROM. But I think if it were remade today the hanger and the drift down to Russia would be removed for flow reasons. 

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Just now, Unofficial Who said:

 

We'll have to agree to disagree there, it's my favourite part of ROM. But I think if it were remade today the hanger and the drift down to Russia would be removed for flow reasons. 

Fair enough. It's like the diving in Summer Games. I could play that, and barely touch the other events, for hours and hours. There's no real reason sometimes behind what we like other than it appeals to some part of us on some level. 

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The Rocky Horror Picture Show I played this long before I saw the movie which is one of my all time favourites. The movie that is. Not the game.

 

I first played the Amstrad version of this game in a shopping centre of all places and really liked the sense of place compared to other games and the hi-res graphics.

 

541211-the-rocky-horror-show-amstrad-cpc

 

Finding the game on budget release I bought it home and was met with this promising screen. How good is this?

 

318760-the-rocky-horror-show-commodore-6

 

And then was met with this.

 

318762-the-rocky-horror-show-commodore-6

 

The high res backdrops remained. The C64 sprites though? The worst. I still played this a lot more than I should have. The design is dull. Fetch 15 things to a central spot before time runs out. But the time is so tight that with even the most fortunate distribution of random objects I'd run out of time one short.

 

So why did I keep playing? For a start there was the novelty as being able to play as a female protagonist. It made no difference to the game and it wasn't the first to allow this but it was a draw. Also the mansion while small had a sense of place. It was like a mini dollhouse, each screen being it's own unique place. In some ways the setting feels like a precursor of Maniac Mansion. There were lots of neat little touches too like the drug room and the "don't touch this" button.

 

@squirtle, I liked the idea of the item collection maybe being informed by capitalist 80's culture. I'm more of the view that designers were looking at what you could do that didn't involve shooting and that a lot of these games were informed by the Easter egg hunt design of Ultimate games. And in a case of more is more they've gone with 15 pieces rather than the four of Sabre Wulf.

 

So not the best game but an interesting one let down with characters which look like....Lego. Hang on, why hasn't there been a Lego Rocky Horror game?

 

Bonus, did you know a C128 version was made? It looks pretty good too!

 

582647-the-rocky-horror-show-commodore-1

582645-the-rocky-horror-show-commodore-1582659-the-rocky-horror-show-commodore-1

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@Unofficial Who Didn't know about the 128 version. Looks a lot better. The discussion on capitalism? I'm not sure why playing this got me thinking that way, but it was probably playing a lot of these games in quick succession and, even if influenced by the Ultimate games, our society is based getting stuff (whatever stuff is) and having more and more of said stuff. I wonder what kind of games a more altruistic society - where giving was the norm, rather than collecting and taking - would make? This game though... All seemed a bit flickery and annoying to me. 

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My favourite from this podcast.

 

300px-Fist_1.gif

 

This was in all the magazines at the time but I never owned it, playing it much later in 1989. It did lead me to buying Fist 2:the Legend Continues as one of my first purchases for the C64. More on that later.

 

I don't really have much more to say except just look at it in action.

 

ExplodingFist_Animation.gif

 

It was the first time I saw a home game that was just head and shoulders above the arcade game that inspired it.

 

41354cb324bc56d5f0c0ba7790e000d0.gif

 

My only complaint, the stationary seagulls on the second level look a little odd.

 

TheWayOfTheExplodingFistSlideshow.gif

 

Otherwise it's pretty much the perfect one on one fighting game, for a while at least.

 

However...not many people know this but there was an unofficial sequel to Exploding Fist. On the second side of Fist 2 is a file called Tournament. It is Way of the Exploding Fist with four new backdrops and a change in the rules where you fight until your opponent runs out of energy.

 

Fist.png

 

Both the original and the Tournament variant got a lot of play in our house. At least until someone upped the ante.

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We played the crap out of Fist 2 Tournament and it mitigated the disappointment of Fist 2 somewhat. IK+ is still the leader, but at the time, there was nothing to match this and it was way ahead of Karate Champ.

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