MAX Machine – Kickman, Super Alien, and Road Race

The guy who had listed Kickman for the MAX Machine at 14,800 yen suddenly dropped the price all the way down to one yen! With a more standard auction situation like that, I was able to buy the cartridge at not too bad a price at all.

And in September I picked this item up after bidding on a MAX Machine for a friend, which included this in the lot. It was my first time to see this sort of plain-wrap packaging.


Software Collection

I am much more of a hardware collector than software. But I do have a fondness for certain software brands, machines, or particular titles. So I’ve assembled a mish-mash of stuff.

For example, the Commodore branded cartridge manuals. This was initially the only thing I was going to collect. This collection has grown recently. I’m only interested in the ones with the fun artwork, so Gorf, Dragonsden, etc. aren’t really of interest to me. I know I still need Avenger,which I think my friend is holding on to for me, and maybe a couple more.

I also have some of the boxes, which I never actually intended to collect, but lucked into a couple of batches of them in good shape, so I guess I’ve started collecting them, anyway! When it comes to the boxes, as opposed to the manuals, I definitely want Dragonsden and Gorf and… well, you know, all of them. My friend has about ten of these for me, too, but some are duplicates. I also added my MAX Machine boxes because it brought more balance to the arrangement.

Next are my arcade classics (and Bop ‘n Wrestle, because it didn’t really fit anywhere else). Not likely to expand on these too much because boxes for Atari’s C64 releases were kinda boring, and that’s where many of the classics are.

My ratty Plus/4 carts. Nice artwork, though!

And finally, my RPG/fantasy stuff. Taking this picture, I feel like a sucker for settling for the small Shogun clamshell. I expect to add Knight Games to this collection, and if I can ever track down a nice Alternate Reality: The City or The Dungeon box, those too.

The Bard’s Tale Series

I don’t buy a lot of software, but Bard’s Tale II was the first Commodore 64 game I ever owned, and I also really loved Bard’s Tale III. I found this for a reasonable price on eBay, so I nabbed the whole series. I hardly ever play on real disks anymore, but for games like these, it is great to flip through the manual while playing, and having to use the real codewheel gives it a sense of authenticity. I also really enjoy the box artwork.

There’s a large patch of wrinkles on the front of the Bard’s Tale box, but from a distance the box looks quite clean.


There’s a bit of a dented section on the front of the Bard’s Tale II box, but the image itself looks nice.


The Bard’s Tale III box looks fantastic!

I also got a pair of clue books.

I’m still currently playing through Alternate Reality: The Dungeon, but I am thinking of playing all three of these in order next!


GEOS 128

This is the first time I’ve used GEOS. I wanted to use the Commodore 128 version, but the REU (RAM Expansion Unit) doesn’t support the 128 and I still don’t have an 80-column monitor. Perhaps the Commodore 64 version is better right now, but I still had some fun with the 128 version!

The default is black and white, but it supports 4-bit color.

It’s also the first time I’ve ever used a mouse on a Commodore. I cleaned the rollers a bit but it’s still quite a pain to use!

Even with this uncooperative mouse, I still managed to use the art program to make this beautiful, Monet-esque picture.

It’s not precisely multi-tasking, but you can load a couple of simple apps on top of your current main application, such as a calculator or a notepad.

More than the paint program, I really wanted to check out the Write application. With my 1541 Ultimate-II+, it can print to a file and that file may be used on a modern PC. But I need to get 80-column mode working first.

Comparing speed

Just a personal experiment out of curiosity. I wrote this little program on my Commodore 128 and then again on my Commodore 16.

I was curious about the speed:
3rd place: Commodore 128 executed the code in 1 minute, 55 seconds before adding lines 5 and 135.
2nd place: Commodore 16 executed the code in 1 minute, 34 seconds.
1st place: Commodore 128 executed the code in 55 seconds after adding lines 5 and 135.

So clearly lines 5 and 135 are key. The FAST command blanks the screen and doubles the CPU speed. Output is revealed after the SLOW command is issued. This is only useful in 40-column mode. In 80-column mode, the CPU is always double speed!

I was also surprised by the color palette selected on the 16. I’m pretty new to the 264 series of computers. I know it has a bigger selection of colors than the 128. It seems like you can access more vibrant colors by issuing a second third argument to the COLOR command. The default 16 colors in the graphic mode seem so… Easter-ish.



Shortly after I posted about my Japanese Commodore 64, I found another one up for auction. I don’t need two, but this is the first one I’ve seen that has come with a Japanese-language user’s guide. For its age, it’s in amazing condition! By chance, the number-two bidder is in the same Facebook group as I am. When he read that I didn’t need anything but the user’s guide, we worked out a deal for him to buy the main unit directly from me.


Penultimate Cartridge for the VIC-20


PENULTIMATE CARTRIDGE(ペンカートに以下省略します)になります。ペンカートとはVIC-20の有名なゲームを40個内蔵した使いやすいメモリー拡大カセットになります。いつものVIC-20のカセットの形していてカセット端子にさしたらすぐ利用できます。VIC-20の本体の電源を入れるとこのメニューが現れます。



ゲームだけではなくほかの機能もあります。例えば、VIC-20のBASIC 2.0からBASIC 4.0に変更できます。スーパーエキスパンダーも内蔵しています。

BASIC 4.0を起動して27KBを足したまま