News Article

Commodore 64 games on the Virtual Console

Posted by Darren Calvert

Whilst we did originally report on this way back in December (albeit a little sarcastically!) it appears the time has now drawn closer and this month in April we should see the first Commodore 64 game in the shape of Impossible Mission to join the ever growing Virtual Console catalogue.

For some this news will fill them with indifference but for retro nuts and open minded gamers this should be a welcome addition (even if C64 isn't a real console hehe)

As far as we can tell at the moment we will only be seeing Epyx's back catalogue as British publisher System 3 now owns the right to distribute them and have obviously become on such good terms with Nintendo that they have managed to get the C64 added to the system list the Virtual Console supports.

System 3 are busy making rehashed versions of Impossible Mission for the Wii, DS, PS2 and PSP. We expect to see California Games and The Last Ninja remakes soon too, this indicates the originals may be amongst the first C64 games we will see after Impossible Mission.

Good news or bad news? Have your say here! What C64 games would you like to see?

From the web

User Comments (59)



Dazza said:

lol it was BIG at the time. I was a dedicated Sinclair owner though! In retrospect aside from a few quality exclusives on the speccy the C64 versions of games were usually the best



Nero said:

I love the C64. Would really like to see "packs" to be downloaded as one channel, like all Last Ninja games in one channel for example. Also at good prices.



neuzd said:

Saboteur !!!!!!! Both episodes.

Lucasfilm adventures: Maniac Mansion and Zak McKracken. There were better versions, but for MM I'd prefer the C64 instead of the NES; you know, that's the original.

There are 3D games that I'd like to know how they run in emulation.
How about Elite and The Sentinel?

Anyway, now I can dream of Amiga....



hadrian said:

Its great news but prices would be a bit steep, even some NES titles arent even worth the price.

Game packs would work very well.



Ash said:

Guys...isn't Impossible Mission actually coming out on disc now? The adverts certainly seem to suggest so.



Bazoon said:

How is C64 compare to the Classic VC systems? does it have good games? anyone knows what will be the price for a game?



DEMON212 said:

Yeah, I thought that'l be why they've added them now Dazza.

As I said before in the IM forum thingy, IGN still don't know about this either, lol.

What's it feel like to always be 2 weeks ahead of one of the biggest games reviewers around?

I love this place more everyday



Kevin said:

This should be interesting. I've never played anything on the Commodore 64. What are some great games for it?



D3adKl0wn said:

i'd love to see Chiller, but again, i wouldn't bother with these unless they came in packs or were like 50 points to D/L.. IMO the NES games are over priced for the most part



Dazza said:

Demon212: We're like a small boat which is able to turn around faster than the big lumbering ship IGN. Still they'll get exclusives we could never dream of! You'd miss em if they were not there! lol

Bazoon: I don't know how old you are. Back in the days when I was a nipper you either had a ZX Spectrum like me, or a Commodore 64 or Amstrad 464. All these home computers played mostly the same games. There were some classic games on the C64, lots of quirky fun games. No quality Japanese titles hardly (if any) - also in terms of power the C64 was much less powerful than the NES. Developers got good results out of it but you have to remember it's limitations.

Price wise I don't know yet. An NES game is 500 points so I would hope a C64 game is 100 or 200 at the most!

Kevin: Good games which I can remember off the top of my head are: Impossible Mission, Last Ninja series, Elite, Target Renegade, Sentinal, Wizball and Head over heels. All the usual arcade conversions were present along with many, many movie tie-in games (the Ocean ones were usually half decent)

Here's hoping we get some Codemasters classics on the VC too!



Bazoon said:

Well, My first system ever was SNES(I am 16 years old now) so I didn't know about this system until now(I did read some articles about the C64 in wikipedia, but I didn't really read it till now .)

First thing I thoguht that I saw the name I thought its a 64-bit system, but after a closer look I saw its called "64" because of its 64 KB RAM. darn it confused me .

I see its not a "console", its a PC for everything right?

I might try a game or 2 when it comes out to the VC!



Dazza said:

Haha watch out, if you think it's a rival to the Nintendo 64 then think again! 64k and 64-bit are very, very different things.

Home computers like the C64 are pre-PC. As a business tool they were really next to useless. Kids got around their parents by making out they were educational, but everyone knew it was for gaming, gaming, gaming! lol



neuzd said:

But that of having a computer instead of a gaming console was a "trick" used by many, not only kids for fooling parents.

I already owned a C=64 but I wanted to buy a NES. That hateful guy working in the videogame store convinced me that I already had a beatiful gaming machine and that consoles were something that were going to fail soon.

I regret not having been resolute. The NES was eons forward in comparison to the C=64.
Anyway, I loved my "breadbox", and I'm proud of it!



Tosky said:

I was lucky, both a Spectrum, and a C64, games I would love to see, there are so many, Bruce Lee was fun, many of the Ultimate games, Dizzy games, Mission Impossible (which started this off I believe also Loved the Jet Set Willy games, along with Manic Miner. Slimey Mine, such a funny game, if I remember it had really great speech on it. Also have memories of Pyjamarama and everyones a wally. Oh so many memories.

Hopefully we wont have to supply a tape player to load them up , and 5 minutes later you can play.



GodsUncle said:

This is really unexpected news, since I didn't see it on IGN or 1up or anything like that... I've never played Commodore 64 but I'm really anticipating this, especially if they're 300 points or cheaper so when you have extra points below 500 you can actually spend them.



-K- said:

I bet whoever found this out and contacted this site is an amazing guy!!!



mirkdddlhppr said:

Awesome! I have a Commodore! It'll be interesting to see what games will be available for it.

I personally hope for Music Composer!



Shrapnel09 said:

unfortunately i never did play the C64, i missed out on a golden age generation, however i wouldnt mind a 2600 console on there, i would pay 2 bucks a piece for some of them Atari classics.



Thores said:

Wait, do you mean here as in the US? I can't find any other site that has this info, what's your source?



Masuyo said:

it may be worth it for uh... 100 points a game... maybe 50? You can buy the entire C64 collection for PS2 on like a $10 disk or something.... but honestly it's just going to be annoying filler between all the actual games I want to buy.

All 4 of my channels are almost full already. LOL




To be honest, im looking forward to hearing some classic tunes from the likes of Martin Galway and Robb Hubbard, gotta love the S.I.D soundchip! . Would be a shame to lose the awesome loading music if any Ocean titles got snapped up.



ben said:

jet set willy and manic minor were both great. as was commando, pitstop 2, beach head 2, afterburner, chucky egg (a must), bomberman. I expect anyone who has never played a C64 will be hugely disappointed as the games have not aged well. I can't wait as it will be a trip down memory lane. Waiting an age for it to load and then crashing is the one that sticks in the mind though. That horrible sound of hearing the cassette player click when the tape runs out - aahhhhh got to do it again now



eltomo said:

Who said about Amiga?

I just went onto Wiki to look up a list of Amiga games A-Z... No end of classics =D

Surely a keyboard will be needed... but that will be childsplay to make for the Wii... In fact why hasnt a keyboard been made for the Wii? How easy life would be surfing the net on it!



link64 said:

Who told you that the Commodore 64 is going to be on the virtual console



Steve said:

I saw this news post and about wet my pants. Then I clicked it and saw the picture of one of the best games of all time and... well, I think I need a change of clothes.

@Cipher: Know you so much? C64 was a phenomenon when it was first announced, being hundreds of dollars cheaper than the competition and much more powerful at the same time. It had a huge library of software, some created by kids in their garage (many of today's software companies got their start this way) and had the best arcade conversions around. I remember playing Out Run and being unable to believe how close it was to the cab version. In particular, the C64 was able to create some of the best music and sound effects around thanks to having a sound chip that was so far ahead of its time. The IBM PC, which came years later, was only able to produce a single channel of generic beeps!

@neuzd: Um, you expected the C64 to challenge the NES in power, despite being released almost a decade earlier? Try comparing the NES to the Amiga and you'll be closer. Although IMO the C64 was capable of better sound than the "eons forward" NES.

And to whoever mentioned it (I'm too lazy to look), I doubt we'll need a keyboard. Most games on the C64 could be played with one or two single-button joysticks. Though it would be cool to see M.U.L.E. with its 4-player mode intact. (I'm sure the keyboard keys could still be reassigned to controllers though)

Even if all we get is the Epyx library I'll be happy. The Jumpman series, Impossible Mission... oh man, I can't wait.

"Destroy him, my robots." ^_^



DEMON212 said:

So many great consoles could come to the VC now.

AMIGA, Saturn, DC, MSX has been confirmed already, Speccy has been rumoured, Neo Geo was rumoured too. Man this is gettin me to excited



deggs said:

hmmm, so many awesome c64 games out there... the only ones i remember the titles of were the liscenesed games though

Predator was amazing.
Robocop was great but I could never figure out how to make it past the first level (still, the soundtrack was great. sometimes i'd just let it continue playing to hear the awesome tunes).
Archon was fun
I love the star Wars game.
Airwolf was fun (but hard)
I had some of the Indiana Jones games. they were freakin hard as well)...
Ghostbusters was great
Choplifter was awesome.
moon buggy was great

There was this one game where you were an astronaut with a jet pack and you just explored the place in a metroidish way but with minal gravity. no idea what that was called but i loved it...



neuzd said:

@Steve: I'm talking of the NES. Strange thing you also wrote it right, because I think you were thinking about the SNES (which is a 16bit the Amiga).
the NES came out on July 1983 in Japan, and C=64 saw the light of the day on August 1982. There is not a decade between them.

@DEMON212: please link something. I think those you are talking are rumors, except for NEOGEO and MSX which are listed in the official japanese Nintendo site.

In particular I doubt about Dreamcast. By the way, I'll be very happy to be wrong about this.



Jansen said:

C64/Atari 800

My dream would come true

I just say one word:

DECATHLON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Joystickkiller



Steve said:

@yoshi: Wouldn't it be great if they allowed you to purchase GB/GBC/GBA games on the VC and download them to your DS for portable play? (Hey, I can dream can't I?)



Adgloride said:

Anyone else heard the rumor that c64 games may cost 500 points like the NES games?



deggs said:

i wish they would just let you download gb/gba games on vc period. there are so many hidden gems out there that I have to use e-bay for nowadays (and the market is flooded with counterfeit gba games that can't save or brake within two or three plays)...



Mart said:

great news, roll on "Dizzy the Egg" and "Mr Freeze". Classics.



danny.j said:

C64 on VC? MEGA!! Hope to see Flimbo's Quest released on it, would bring back so many memories?



Steve said:

@neuzd: My bad. I was thinking the C64 was released in the 70's. I still stand by my statement about its sound capabilities, however. And while the NES might have had some better games, the C64 was certainly the most capable home computer system of the time for playing games. Comparing it to a console is a bit unfair, as I didn't see any good spreadsheet software on the NES. >_<

And while I'm fantasizing about things that'll never happen, I'd love to see them release a fully-featured C64 emulator so you could hook up a keyboard (the Wii has USB, ya know) and program away.



Zithal said:

One game comes to mind above all others...


Greatest. Game. Ever.



How different gaming might have been for me if I got what my grandad set out to get me a Commodore 64. He went to the Argos in what must have 1987(I was 4, I think the year is accurate as that is when the NES launched in the UK) to get me a C64 as Id had so much fun playing Pong that a relative had given to me(yes the old 1970s pong). Anyway he came back from the Argos and said he had not got a C64 as it was out of stock but they did have a new games unit that had come in recently called the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was £99.99 and came with Super Mario Bros and two pads(yes video game companies used to do that). I was hooked on this game that was like nothing id seen before(remember I went from Pong to a game with colour and a screen that moved). I still have my Mattel version NES and it still works. When I get a Wii ill check out the C64 games but I do remember going to a friends house and being unimpressed with her brothers Atari 2600 compared to my NES, is the C64 better than the 2600, is it like a NES in terms of the amount of really good games?



DEMON212 said:

Sorry Neu, I worded it wrong. It made it look like I was saying that the AMIGA and DC and etc... were confirmed. I never meant that.

AMIGA and DC are my hope for consoles.

Saturn, NEOGEO and Speccy have been rumoured.

And MSX have been confirmed.



jedidon said:

i grew up in the commodore 64 days so this is a real treat for me. the games that i would like to see on the vc is beach head 1 @ 2 and the goonies which i,ve always loved playing also the last ninga series.

__Rob Wilson


Rob Wilson said:

Fantastic game!

Now if they could only get Heavy Metal Paradroid on the VC I'd be set! M.U.L.E. would rock too, though they'd probably use the icky (but 4-gamepad-friendly) NES version.



Kelvin said:

C64 has a fantastic set of games. I listed a lot of them in a previous post, but it didn't show up for some reason. :/

And deggs, the game you're thinking of (with the astronaut) is, I think, Exile.



Foolkiller said:

Zithal, good call on M.U.L.E. My brother and I spent ages playing that game. Best video game music ever.

Two other games I want are Archon and USAgent. You can find some games Java emulated online and I have been playing them off and on, but on the Wii will be awesome. Daz mentioned Wizball too and I owned that game for about a month before my disk drive finally quit reading.

Anyone to young to remember but looking for a comparison, the C64 was kind of between Atari and NES. In fact, it even used the same controllers as the Atari.

I remember being 6 years old and learning to program in BASIC on the C64 from the computer magazines my dad bought us.

Oh Lord, the nostalgia is overwhelming me.



Manaman said:

If this gives me the opportunity to play P.P Hammer again, assuming it has a chance of cropping up (even though I'd rather have the Amiga 500 version), then it's great news.



neuzd said:

The Norwegian site of Nintendo has removed the C=64 release info (Impossible Mission) from their virtual console page.

It was the only official site who posted it.
One should hope they're hiding it because it had to be a "surprise".

Don't know...fingers crossed.

__Mr 64


Mr 64 said:

Admittedly, 90% of C64 games were a bit rubbish but that's because developers were free to write for the machine and the cost of producing C64 software was far cheaper - tape distribution was miles cheaper than cartridge fabrication, so any Tom, Dick or Harry could enter the market - leaving lots of stinkers. However, it also opened the door for some truly stunning and original games to be knocked up by a couple of mates in their bedroom. Can you imagine that these days? There are hundreds and hundreds of great C64 games to choose from, including original titles and some pretty damn good conversions of arcade classics. Anyone too young to remember the C64 should check out the following games:

IK+ (the original and best version)
Turrican 2

I also have to disagree with the arguments about the technical prowess of the NES vs C64. Both machines have their strengths and weaknesses, however the C64 had far better sprite handling and much, much better hardware scrolling. You never saw multi-layered parallax scrolling on a NES, put it that way! And the SID Chip (C64 sound chip) is so good it's actually made it's way into a very popular modern synthesizer! Yes cartridge loading was instantaneous, but I'd rather wait five minutes for a game to load and pay £1.99 instead of £34.99!

I think a major difference was that the NES benefitted from much bigger development teams, some brilliant graphics artists and also Mr Miyamoto working on the machine at a time when everything he touched turned to gold.

As for a price for C64 games, I'd have to say 200-300 points would be fair.



Thurstan said:

WIZBALL !!! or Ghostbusters.

they would be superb. Or any game with a decent soundtrack to hear the emulated SID chip goodness !



Jeremy said:

Lode Runner pl0x! Impossible Mission's a steal too.

I hope they cost 300 points but the will likely be 500.



Mr_64 said:

There seems to be an awful lot of sideways scrolling shooters coming out for the VC on the various platforms, so add Armalyte to my list too! It's easily as good as R-Type.



SKTTR said:

I think C64 games are gonna be 500 Wii Points, cause they were just as good as NES games. Yes, it's true, the C64 had many stunning graphic effects and the sound was far better than anything on the NES.

Apart from that the C64 had more than over 5000 games!!!

Most of the biggest game industries started on the C64:

Rainbow Arts (aka Factor 5) started on C64, with bringing technical advanced and exquisite games like Turrican, Turrican II, Katakis, The Great Giana Sisters, Oil Imperium, Jinx, Hard'n'Heavy.

Electronic Arts should bring out ARCHON and PROJECT FIRESTART. Back in these days they knew how to make really original games. Project Firestart especially is a gem.

Ultimate Play The Game (aka Rareware) started on C64 with adventure hits like Sabre Wulf and Blackwyche.

Codemasters had it's own exclusive line-up with the great Lazer Force and BMX Simulator.

Lucas Arts made Maniac Mansion and Zak McKracken. Maniac Mansion is much more detailed than the NES version and it's also uncut. And these two games were the first point'n'click adventures of gaming history.

More companies like Ocean, Infogrames, Acclaim, Activision, SSI, Konami, Virgin, Epyx, Jeff Minter's Llamasoft, Mindscape, Atari, Broderbund, and of course Commodore itself as well as hundreds of game studios that no-one knows today anymore made great games.

There were also excellent ports of classics such as Taito's Bubble Bobble and Arkanoid and Nintendo's Popeye and Mario Bros... and R-Type, Gauntlet 1+2, Defender of the Crown, M.U.L.E., Pirates, Bionic Commando, Arkanoid, Mission Impossible, Boulder Dash, Bard's Tale, Ultima, Commando, Burger Time, Elite, Bomb Jack, Ghosts'n'Goblins, Double Dragon, Bomberman, Castlevania, Alter Ego... as well as every classic you can imagine and so much more I could go on forever.

And what will make you most happy: The vast quantity of exclusive unique top games such as Bruce Lee, Armalyte, Paradroid, Last Ninja, Fist II, Gribbly's Day Out, O'Rileys Mine, Kaiser, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Revenge of the Mutant Camels, H.E.R.O., Super Pipeline, Park Patrol, Knightmare, Cosmic Convoy, Hacker, Bop'n'Rumble, Highnoon, Mafia, Cauldron, Elvira, Heart of Africa, Feud, murder on the Mississippi, Enigma Force, Friday 13th... i know there's so much more but i have to stop somewhere.

Bottom line: We could be glas with the additon of the C64 as this was a fun machine i played it over 10 years without it getting old or boring. I also skipped the NES, cause the C64 was THAT good!! But SNES was better, so i bought me that and got addicted xD Look at that site There is simply no other system that had a lifespan from 1980 to 2007.



tovare said:

Iwould have liked to see games like Void Runner, but C64 games are a bit expensive ... 500 points for a £1.95 game? They should be released in collections of perhaps 5 games for 500 points!

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