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Commodore PET games or the VICE Commodore on PC emulator.
26 2002 with permission
from Larry Anderson of PortCommodore.com
*** Some games in
this archive do contain the 'killer POKE' (see the
you have a 4000 series large-screen PET, you should scan the listings for any
pokes to 59458 and RAMOVE THEM before running the game, if you run a game and
the screen messes up (like the verical hold just died) turn off the machine
immediately! Prolonged use in this mode will damage video circuitry. You have
One program in this archive I know that
has this POKE is JOUST
The screen shots of
selections from the
Archive were made possible with
VICE the Commodore 8-Bit
Emulator, which currently is available for Microsoft DOS/Windows systems and
UNIX, there is a Mac version of VICE but it only supports the 64 mode.
people would lead you to believe that without a 'programmable' character set the
PET was not suited for nice game graphics, these shots are from many of the
games I have enjoyed on the PET since I was introduced to them in 1980.
Not much in the way
of graphics, but I am always impressed by this Darth Vader shot at the intro.
D.S.A. is probably one of my most favorite text adventures, good for beginners &
intermediate adventurers and a nice diversion for pros. MISER (Cursor) is the
best introductory adventure on the PET.
The 'Tunnel Vision'
portion of Tunnel Vision is to go through a maze (in machine language fast 3-D!)
and locate the exit, I had 'automatic display of maze location' activated to
show I was not having much luck exiting during this game.
The other half of
Tunnel Vision is Kat & Mouse, which shows a top view of the maze and you try to
reach the exit while avoiding the relentless Cat that's zipping through the maze
looking for you. Both are fast and fun!
This was my
introduction to true PET arcade excitement, ML fast the this version re-created
the arcade game in as much as having the demo mode, etc. Some of our schools
computers had problems with the A, 4 and 6 keys as a result of too much playing
of this game.
We also had a
competition with Space Invaders for our School's computer club, the winner,
Alvin Adams, won an equally cool Creative Computing's 'I'd rather be playing
Spacewar' Tee Shirt.
A Commodore 64
translation of this game is available in the Public Domain, which seems to have
solved some of the alien speed problems of the PET version and has added the use
of joystick control.
Many early 64 games
were orignally PET game in that the character set and screen size were for the
most part the same, usually they added color and sound on the 64 ones to make
them more sellable.
Even the non-arcade
games had some good graphics designs, like this one from the popular Cursor tape
magazine. Cursor was a bi-monthly publication which included about 6 to 8
programs on tape and a small newwsletter, if you want a taste of Cursor games
for use on the 64, look for the book Commodore 64 Fun & Games published by
Osborne/McGraw Hill, which includes a selection of popular Cursor favorites
colorized and many with sound.
I have noticed some
of the early PET games were translated to IBM BASIC in the first years of the
PC, as the charcter display properties are very similar between the two
LANDER (Creative Computing)
emplyed bits of animation such as the thrust under the LEM and altitude
indicator to make it stand apart from all the other text based landing
simulations, other adaptations had options where you could try to land on any
planet on the Solar System, I doubt you could make it safely on Jupiter.
artillery, besides being a great 2-player game helped you understand such
concepts as angles, velocity, gravity, and contributing factors to those (in
this case, wind direction). Many games wern't as sophisticated to calculate (or
graphically display) the angles, etc and it made it all that much more
challenging for the players to do it themselves.
The player on the
left is about to barely survive a near miss from the player on the right.
I always have a
soft spot for this Chutes and Ladders adaptation, up to three can play (two
humans and the PET). It looks like Jane (the diamond) has gotten a lead with the
help of a ladder, PET is still on the first level and isn't getting too far.
There were many
educational programs produced for the PET as it was primarily bought by schools
during it's production, from pre-school games all the way up to college subjects
could be found for the PET.
aka Weather War
This game is one
many people remember as unique to the PET, Two players able to influence the
weather try to obilterate each other in a duel of disasters.
Note the inverted
screen, and changed case letters, these were two popular methods for cheap
effects, a simple set switching POKE did the letters and a 30 or so byte ML
routine inverted the screen instantly. If you are epileptic, some old games
flash quite a bit so be wary of this fact if you play alone.
don't think in Ouranos that the players are left to their own devices; besides
the ever changing wind, Mother Nature randomly takes her turn (usually missing),
this time she happens to do some work on the Hatfield residence with hail. The
weapons on Ouranos are Rain, Hail, Tornado and Lightning.
The PET was well
suited for 'left-right' invader games like this and Space invaders, as with
character graphics there was not too much fine movement and only 25 lines on the
screen, it never seemed a limitation to the owner as the programmers were able
to adapt to the computer's limitations and advantages.
adventures There were a few graphic adventures following more the rules of the
role-playing quest Dungeon & Dragons. I died pretty quick on this excursion by a
Grue, good thing too, as the map revealed another grue, two nubius', a wyvern, a
snake and four mighty dragons!
A later more
exciting 64 adaptation of this game is 'Sword of Fargoal' by Automated
Simulations (later called Epyx).
DRAW POKER (Commodore)
Some of the first
games released for the PET (such as this one) were better than later ones to
follow, Commodore's 'Black Jack' and 'Draw Poker' are two of the best in their
category for the PET.
Or intrepid ballon
carrying dude has knocked down another AFO 'Ship of Mystery' in this 'Wonderful
Game' (translations of the Japanese title screen) and has bonked the alien to
show who's the boss. Great animation all in BASIC, good for PET programmers.
Don't think that
all the PET (and other Commodore 8-bit) games came from the U.S. Many came from
Europe and also from Japan as Commodore got the jump on the competition and
started international sales years before many of the other microcomputer
(Nybbles and Bits)
(was On-Line Software)
A good variation of
the Centipede game.
Not all PET games
were all that good, some threw together bad code and/or gameplay and charged
alot for it (ome company comes to mind) stated the author of Millipede, which
prompted him to 'show everyone I can do better than that' and did so with
several great games for the PET, VIC and Commodore 64.
Back then, anyone
had a good chance of making it in the computer game business with just a good
understanding of just BASIC and/or ML and a little money, now you need to
understand a couple high performance languages, be a graphics expert, as well as
have a few great game ideas to even be noticed.
Some Games were
extraordinary in their adaptation, such as this one which duplicated Exidy's
Star Fire so much as having the 'heads-up tracking indicators' pop up when a
ship was in your sights. Probably the only drawback to this game was no sound.
Many PET games
didn't have sound as it was not designed into the original hardware, some crafty
owners soon devised a sound 'port' by adjusting the serial handshake port's data
signal with varying speed and patterns which gave the PET decent sound
capabilities (as good as an early IBMs).
I was suprized to
see an Asteroids game on the PET, which for the longest time I could only find
available variations on the Atari 400/800 and Apple ][ computers. But it proves
the determination of the PET programmer. Screen graphics limitations make this
game a little more clunkier to play then most, but still a good passtime.
non-participatory sports, like Horcerace here, had quality animation sequences
to spice up the gameplay and excitement (BTW, Jimmy won as horse #2 pulled ahead
at the last second)
By about 1981 color
became an important factor in influencing computer buying decisions and the PET
was not capable of it (at least never for sale, there were reports of a 'Color
PET' prototype). Commodore's answer was the VIC-20, which had the BASIC of the
PET with color and sound but sacrificing the large screen and large memory of
the PET. It wasn't until 1982 when the Commodore 64 and
introduced was the environment of the PET duplicated and enhanced in Color and
had gorgeous sound.
Lastly, but no way
least, is another milestone for the PET; a real-time semi-arcade Star Trek Game
(when I snapped this screen my ship was constantly getting pummeled by the four
klingons' weapons). Fast paced action that does not pause.