Commodore 64

Jul 14, 2014

Awesome computer. Had one when I was 12 years old.
I developed several programs in its BASIC language.
Great sound too.
And those games... Incredible fun time!
By the way: I like the new style of your website Ron.
Cheers from Argentina.

Did your's have a little switch to the side that can be flipped over to JIFFY DOS?

Ron Gilbert

Since I missed the C64 train, what I'm interested in knowing is if Maniac Mansion came on cassette tape and, if so, how long you had to wait on average for it to load.  All my searches result in solutions to the puzzle where you make the recording to shatter the chandelier.

Ron Gilbert
Maniac Mansion for the C64 came on one 5 inch floppy disk.  You had to flip it over at various points in the game due to data being on both sides.

I used to have c64 when I was a kid. I programmed in basic a little bit, even in assembler. There were programs I used to type in by reading it from the magazines. every line started with a 'poke' command and had tons of numbers. and if you miss one figure, program is not working properly - if it starts at all. Real Nightmare :) but those were the days!

Just remind me when I was 6 years old, struggling with tapes, rewind and forward button to catch the correct digits and be able to launch games! Commodore 64 was just amazing! So was Maniac Mansion... however I was a bit too young and had to wait a few years to play it on my Amiga!
Really like your new design.

Ron, the fact that Maniac Mansion fit on one disk, even if you did have to use both sides, is amazing.  You're a programming genius.  

You're not gonna believe it, but I'm just back home with a brand new (so to speak) C64! I knew I could exercise my voodoo control powers over Ron, but this is ridiculous. :) Happy C64 memories to everyone!

So... Today I'll get my C64 and play MM on an old B/W TV! I miss the floppy-sound. 10 Years Grummpy Gamer Blog ... Congrats!

Derrick R
I still have my trusty C64, and my copies of Maniac Manson and Zak McCracken.  (And, a slew of other games, of course).

Derrick R
I still have my trusty C64, and my copies of Maniac Manson and Zak McCracken.  (And, a slew of other games, of course).

I have my C64 with its tape on a shelf :D. I had so much fun with that computer.

From Argentina greetings ! DUDE! I Fucking love monkey island, maniac mansion, Zak . Now im 38yrs old, and keep all that games in  floppy disks, and my c64 stuff and old pc games.
And I have a tattoo C64 logo en my arm.

Sorry for my english,  im a c64 FAN, and you are GOD to me.
i have greats memories of my father and me playing maniac mansion and monkey island for hours/days/months!.


I grew up on the Commodore 64 in Paradise California as a child in the late 80s.   We got ours late but there was more secondary devices such as a Hard Drive which is noisy as heck when turned on that we have a whole bunch of software stored on it.

Our Commodore 64 model has a mode called Jiffy Dos ever heard of it? It is a little switch on the side that let's programs load in just 1 minute!    I didn't even know a lot of C64 floppy disk users had to suffer long waiting times actually!

Dad also programmed a custom menu system that is pretty nice so I wouldn't have to do the comma 8 comma 1 loading sequence since I was very young then.    I did a lot of education software on the Commodore at home.  At that time it was very rare for people to have home computers that were actual computers not game machines.

His menu system I just used the F keys to scroll/click on a game/software.

Commodore 64 had a LOT of great potential and was the true competitor to Nintendo since Nintendo only did games.  Nintendo tried to do education software in order to compete but didn't quite have the knack for it so soon gave up that lineup  or they would've embarrassed themselves into oblivion.

By the way I love this font!  :)    It feels like using Commodore BASIC all over again!  

You should get the Commodore 64 BASIC guide to their language which is basically C++ in a simpler format without the run arounds.

In fact flipping that side switch makes the blue screen say JIFFY DOS instead of BASIC on it.

My favorite program was the Sid Stereo Editor that you can listen to lot's of great sid songs which we got from Load Star Tower back in the days.

BTW: The security question is much better then the stupid captchas which you cannot read as captcha's basically say to the user. "We don't like you as we think you're spam!"

Commodore 64 was an incredible inspiration to so many game creators. The C64 versions of many games are still the best and most shining ones in all respects.

Maniac Mansion is no exception - the Commodore 64 version is the best. The only thing that can be considered lacking is the joystick-controlled cursor. But that's only until you develop the 'Joystick-Zen' that allows you to actually enjoy the joystick-cursor more than you could a mouse cursor. A mouse cursor is just a mundane thing, something you don't think about, a tool, taken for granted.

A joystick requires you to develop a skill to always being able to land the cursor exactly where you want it. Frustrating to the beginner, absolute joy to the seasoned veteraan.

The C64 version is the only one that has that magnificent, autumny atmosphere and feel to it. It's so mystical that it's almost cosmic. If you have a 'howling' disk drive, like Excelerator/OC-118N/Oceanic, there's nothing quite like playing Maniac Mansion in the autumn after admiring the stars for awhile first, and then the disk drive starting to 'howl' when the game gets more intense, making those 'long loading times' pass quickly and in an added mystical feeling.

All the other versions also have ugly graphics - the DOS-version isn't too bad, but Maniac Mansion was clearly meant to be enjoyed through the VIC-II and a bright CRT television, not with crisp and clearly defined, squarelike pixels on a dull EGA monitor.

The sound is beeper only, so the less said about it, the better for the peace of mind.

Though one must love the 'demo' where Dave and Sandy explain how the game works.  
NES-version does not contain even 10% of the glorious and mystical, atmospheric graphics of the C64-version - everything looks distorted and wrong. And the added 'jingles' for every player - what the heck was that all about? Not to mention the censorship, holy sucked brains!

The Amiga (and later PC version) are perhaps the most repulsive things that have ever happened to the visuals of a computer or video game conversion. How did they get away with that? Was there no quality control whatsoever? Not to mention it's pathetic, lifeless sound.

It's interesting that "Time Travel" is mentioned in the Maniac Mansion's design notes (can't remember, which ones). Back to the Future was my favorite movie at the time (also due to incredible atmosphere in the DeLorean-scenes, but also for other reasons), so I always thought that some sort of time traveling would have fit Maniac Mansion so well (but at least it has 'space travel', though not for the players).

And now I read that it WAS planned! Kinda 'blew my mind', as they say.. Maniac Mansion plus time travel would have been the best thing in the existence at the time!

Anyway, Commodore 64 has an incredible half-analog synthesizer whose sound can't be emulated accurately (partially because every individual SID chip sounds unique, though in practice, many sound very similar, and the later chips sound pretty much the same, because they 'fixed' the feature that gave the chip its soul, essentially killing its soul in the process of course..), and its graphic chip creates wonders together with a bright CRT television (there's an 'arfifact effect' and 'color blurring' that happens, that is nowadays called "PAL Emulation" in emulators like Vice).

And there's something esoterically exciting about the C64 - it's not just what we can see and touch physically, there lives a soul iin every C64 that comes to life when you use the computer for entertainment or creativity (making music with a real C64 is a bliss I wish everyone could experience, for example).

Long live the C64!

(I intend to keep my Commodore computers alive as long as possible, and they are in active use)

Having said all that I said in the previous post;

Could a game like Maniac Mansion be ported to Atari 8-bit computer line? (I also have an Atari 800 XL in active usage - I have a CompactFlash-cart full of games and some other stuff for it).

I would be fascinated to see how Atari could handle it .. I mean, if Apple II can handle something, shouldn't Atari also be able to?

Spectrum's version would probably look as or more horrible than the NES-version does, though..