Happy 40th Anniversary, Commodore 64!

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This year, the Commodore 64 home computer - the best-selling single-model computer of all time - turns 40! I'm a little younger than the C64 but because it was still going strong in the UK well into the 1990s (it was one of the top two gaming platforms here, behind the ZX Spectrum, before consoles eventually started gaining widespread traction around the mid-1990s), I grew up with it, so I just wanted to pay a little tribute to it here. :smile2:

The Commodore 64 was first shown at the Consumer Electronics Show 1982, which ran between January 7th and 10th that year, and was released in August 1982, before ultimately being discontinued in April of 1994, though the system remained in use by many for plenty of years after that. It even co-existed alongside its successor, the Commodore Amiga, pretty much until the collapse of Commodore. Even as late as the 2010s, long after its discontinuation and the collapse of its parent company, brand-recognition for the C64 was still at almost 90%! It's still very high even today, and that's also been helped by modern revivals such as "The C64 Mini" and "The C64 Maxi", as well as plenty of ongoing community efforts around the world.

For my part, the Commodore 64 was my first computer and my first games machine; I had originally wanted a NES, but my parents opted to pay a little bit more to get a Commodore 64 instead, and they absolutely made the right choice because it set me up with practical transferrable skills for life, which I still use today and most likely always will. Not only that, but its games, which due to the cost of living in the UK were sold almost exclusively on cassette-tapes (elsewhere, floppy-disks were the norm, but not here), typically cost £2 to £5 each (with £10 considered to be a rare "high-end" price), instead of the £40 to £60 that was the norm on consoles, and the sheer variety played a big part in shaping my taste in video games as a youngster. It was one of those systems where everyone's experiences of it were usually completely different.

The dominance of cassette-tapes as the primary medium in the UK shaped the sorts of games that were popular here, too - the smaller storage-space meant that arcade-style games (be they conversions of popular titles released into arcades, or original titles created for the home) were the most popular of all, whereas the larger space offered by disks meant that different genres, such as simulations and RPGs, were popular in countries where disks were the dominant format. This made for a great deal of diversity for the system's library when viewed as a whole - and that library is still growing even today!

Due to the popularity of arcade conversions on the C64 and other home microcomputers, in the UK the Taito arcade games Bubble Bobble and The NewZealand Story occupy the same cultural space that's occupied by Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 3 on the NES in North America (the NES was completely unknown throughout at least half of the UK due to Nintendo UK's distributor of the time not allowing all stores to carry their products, so those games didn't have the same impact here).

Sometimes I still revisit the Commodore 64, both to revisit old favourites and to discover new ones, so, to mark today's anniversary, I'll be picking up some modern-era C64 titles;

Polar Bear in Space! (2021)

It's Magic 2 (2001)

Ice Guys (1997)

Pac-Wor (2021)

Bagman Comes Back (2021)

Happy Anniversary, Commodore 64! :biggrin:

Was anyone else here a Commodore 64 owner back in the day? Do you still have one? What were your favourite games for the system? Please share! :smile2:
 

OldSchoolVPQ

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I never realized the graphics were so complex! There was one at my grandmother's house, complete with box, that my brother and I never saw turned on. Lots of cassettes, too. Must have belonged to my dad's youngest brother. Now I wish we'd messed with it...it looks like a lot of fun!
 

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I never realized the graphics were so complex! There was one at my grandmother's house, complete with box, that my brother and I never saw turned on. Lots of cassettes, too. Must have belonged to my dad's youngest brother. Now I wish we'd messed with it...it looks like a lot of fun!
The C64's hardware was originally designed for gaming purposes, so it had no difficulty in going toe-to-toe with the 8-bit consoles of the time. It's definitely a fun machine, and was a great one to get started with - you should definitely check it out if you ever get another chance! :biggrin:

But...that thing is dead...
It definitely isn't. Its commercial lifespan may be long-gone, but it was such an influential machine that you can still get new software for it today in much the same way that people still create new games for the NES, Mega Drive, and so on. :smile2: It's grown even bigger over the last couple of years due to so many people picking up new hobbies during the pandemic.
 

leogames2012

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It definitely isn't. Its commercial lifespan may be long-gone, but it was such an influential machine that you can still get new software for it today in much the same way that people still create new games for the NES, Mega Drive, and so on. :smile2: It's grown even bigger over the last couple of years due to so many people picking up new hobbies during the pandemic.
IT IS,NOBODY ACTUALLY MAKES GAMES FOR IT. AND IT DIDN'T INFLUENCE EVERYTHING! IT WAS A FAILURE AT THE BEGINNING OF COMMODORE´S DECLINE!
 

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@leogames2012

Does this really warrant getting upset about? (If you aren't upset I apologize, but I've always taken all caps text as shouting.)

If people want to celebrate an old gaming computer, why can't they? Why does it matter if it's "dead"? I've never had a Commodore 64 but I do have a SNES that I grew up with. I will gladly celebrate that thing for all the joy it brought me during my childhood. To me it's not dead because I still love it, engage with it, and think about it. I'm sure in 40 years you'll be looking back fondly on your Switch or PS5 long after games have stopped being produced for it, and when that happens I hope no one tries to spoil your fun and cherished memories.
 

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IT IS,NOBODY ACTUALLY MAKES GAMES FOR IT. AND IT DIDN'T INFLUENCE EVERYTHING! IT WAS A FAILURE AT THE BEGINNING OF COMMODORE´S DECLINE!
Nice try, but repeating a lie enough times doesn't make it true. ;))

@leogames2012

Does this really warrant getting upset about? (If you aren't upset I apologize, but I've always taken all caps text as shouting.)

If people want to celebrate an old gaming computer, why can't they? Why does it matter if it's "dead"? I've never had a Commodore 64 but I do have a SNES that I grew up with. I will gladly celebrate that thing for all the joy it brought me during my childhood. To me it's not dead because I still love it, engage with it, and think about it. I'm sure in 40 years you'll be looking back fondly on your Switch or PS5 long after games have stopped being produced for it, and when that happens I hope no one tries to spoil your fun and cherished memories.
Hear hear. :smile2: Honestly, I feel a bit bad for the younger generation - many of their video games are so strongly tied to online servers, downloadable updates, and DLC that they're now basically ephemeral. Maybe Leo is angry because he won't get to revisit very many games 40 years down the line?

Also, I love the SNES, too! :tarakotchi: It's my favourite home-console of all time, in fact - it's just a pity that its homebrew scene isn't quite as far along as that of the NES, yet. That said, the SNES ROM-hacking scene is getting to be pretty excellent, so that's something.

(Am I the only one who finds it more than a little ironic that such a complaint has surfaced on a site dedicated to what many consider a long-dead 90s fad?)
Hahahaha! :biggrin: You're not the only one!


We had a Commodore 64. We had many games, but I remember this one, Rockford, the most.
Rockford! I know that guy! :biggrin: I haven't played Rockford, specifically, but I know that it's a spin-off from the Boulder Dash series.

I was quite surprised to learn, several years ago, that there was quite a scene in Europe for custom Boulder Dash games - there are TONS of them out there! :oo
 
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iAM

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Honestly, I feel a bit bad for the younger generation - many of their video games are so strongly tied to online servers, downloadable updates, and DLC that they're now basically ephemeral.
THIS. I’m glad I was bron in the 90’s and actually get to enjoy the old consoles/home arcades!

Would love to try others that I haven’t tried before though. :lol:
 

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THIS. I’m glad I was bron in the 90’s and actually get to enjoy the old consoles/home arcades!
80s here, so I got to enjoy all of that AND got to witness most of the home-computer boom as it happened, with both of these things creating the foundations for what we know as the norm today. I think that it's important to acknowledge what got us to where we are now.

Would love to try others that I haven’t tried before though. :lol:
That's what's so great about gaming as a medium - even before we start considering modern homebrew, ROM-hacks, and mods, there's always tons of stuff that we managed to miss back in the day! :biggrin: For me, discovering old stuff that passed me by originally is a great way to plug the gaps left by a trend-chasing market that's increasingly reluctant to offer complete products to consumers in exchange for the ludicrously high prices that they charge.
 
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