Thursday, 3 November 2011

The C64 - Nostalgia, Nostalgia and a beer with a little bit of Nostalgia

I remember the Commodore 64 fondly. It was my first exposure to video gaming. It belonged to my eldest brother and it's greenfilter monitor had an almost irresistible pull to me. Problem these days was, I was 8 years old, couldn't speak English and guess what "ALL" games were in English... I have to admit though, it did not deter me :).

Following are a couple of games that I played almost nonstop. It was crazy considering that I actually couldn't speak English back then and the games were heavily text-based... yet, I thoroughly enjoyed them all. Here are my top ten in no particular order as I think that each game was awesome in its own way:

The Great Giana Sisters

 What a great game! My all time favorite. Chris Huelsbeck's PC-Speaker music made it all the more enjoyable. I can still hum the level tunes! Apart from the fact that it is a blatant Super Mario rip off, I have to admit, though, that I actually learnt about Mario after I played this one. To my surprise, when I played it recently, I realised that it has aged rather well!

Curse of the Azure Bonds

Hach *sigh*, my first ever computer-based rpg. It will always hold a special place in my heart. The graphics were shit, the gameplay was atrocious and the story a spin-off from an AD&D book that wasn't that good in the first place. Yet, I had to play it and beat the evil Tyranthraxus who, for some inexplicable reason, faced me as a storm giant (the only storm giant in the game) although he could have chosen any form he liked. My Paladin killed him in two rounds. That's how good that baddie was. Dust of Disappearance made that fight ridiculously easy... I loved that game. Also my first contact with the realms of Faerun. Good times...

Dragon Wars

From what I remember, THE best roleplaying system ever made. It was the only game "to this day" where you do not start as a character class, but you can increase whatever you want. It was just awesome! Shame there is no follow up with the same system but better graphics.
Can't tell you much about the story since the limited Memory of the Commodore 64 meant that a lot of the story was actually written down in the handbook in Entry form. Very often, you would encounter a place and it says in the description <Read Entry xy... 63 or whatever>. Unfortunately, my older brother lost the handbook and it was in English anyway, so no use to my 8 year old self.


This game was simply well made. Even back then, they totally nailed the gameplay. To this day, I play miniput games (browser games and the like) and the game play as such has not change overly. What the developers achieved with limited graphics was just plain amazing! It is still a good game to now. Again one of those that aged well :)

Sid Meier's Pirates!

I am not sure if it is just misled nostalgia, but the new release of the game has nothing on the old one. I don't know what it was, but the new, fluffy and spiffy look of the new one just puts me off (together with the dancing). The original was actually just the same.. but it was better goddammit!! The game was revolutionary for its time. The way it was possible to ransack cities with just the right tactics was just plain awesome and the sea battles were breath-taking. I am sure my vivid imagination as a young pup compensated heavily for the lack of good graphics ;)


This game is a weird one. I don't know why I spent several months worth of my childhood sitting in front of the box playing this. All you did, was increase the percentages of each skill, every time you come back from a tournament and then you watch how well you play. It was inevitable that you would reach the number one spot. Simply, because at some point you will reach 100% in every single skill. Nonetheless, there was something endearing about this game.

Winter Games

No other game caused as much damage to the joysticks as this game (maybe Summer games as close second). Since the game play consisted mainly of violently yanking the the joystick back and forth as fast as possible (This may have prepared some young boys for their Baywatch watching career), it is understandable that a couple of new joysticks had to be bought. Fantastic group game!

Bruce Lee

 To this day, I have no idea what this game is about, or what I achieved once I finished it. What I know is that it is a fast paced Jump and... Kick and Run Game that makes you enjoy jump kicking ugly, green and fat kickboxing women with a horrendous hair do.

Microprose Soccer
First football game I ever played. Realism looks different, but it was awesome nonetheless. For its time very good graphics and playing against my siblings was always a treat. It just worked. Awesome game :D


The strange story with this game is that I actually didn't know what the aim of the game was (again due to a lack of English skills). I just liked the game, for planting crops and selling the materials in order to get rich. For some reason, I was never bothered that it was open ended ;)

Honorable mentions go out to Mafia, International Karate and Test Drive. Another three beyond awesome games.

Ah well, that's it. I enjoyed that greatly. I will however resist from getting an emulator, because I will only be disappointed. I want those games to live on in my heart the way I remember them. As games that it was worth taking time out over. :)

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