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blog:2022-09-29

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Sep 29th, 2022

A couple weeks ago, just out of curiosity, I decided to check out and see what was happening with C64 game prices on eBay. Of course, the asking prices for games on floppy disks were much higher than I would ever pay for them. However, I did find some really good asking prices for games on cassette, out of the U.K. There were a few games one person was selling that have been on my “watch out for” list for the longest time, and he listed them for just a few bucks each. Okay, he was asking a few pounds for them, but even after conversion to Canadian dollars, they were very reasonable. So, I bought a few of them.

I know, there was always a chance that these games, coming from the U.K., would not run on my NTSC C128. But, having the actual commercial release of these games in my collection was novelty enough for me. I thought that since they were cassettes, if I did have problems with any of them, I could try saving an NTSC friendly version on one side and leave the original on the other.

Earlier this week, the tapes arrived in the mail. They were in excellent shape and are the first “official” games on cassette I've had as part of my collection. The games were Frantic Freddie, Space Pilot, and Gaplus.

C64 Game Cassettes

Space Pilot and Frantic Freddie loaded up and ran just fine. And, although Gaplus loaded fine, when it tried to run, it froze showing just a blank white screen. So, this one was going to be my first to try out my plan, as I do have a PRG that I downloaded from the Web that does run on my NTSC system.

Rather than just save a copy of the PRG to tape, I also though that this might be an excellent opportunity to try out a fast loader I was told about (on the C64Forum), called TurboTape. With this fast loader, you first load it into memory, then use it to save your program to the Datasette. It then saves the program/game in a “crunched” file (sort of), which makes loading it later on a much faster process.

I used it with Gaplus and, what do you know, it actually worked… and worked well. So, now on side one I have the commercial Gaplus (which apparently only runs on PAL systems) and an NTSC version saved on side two. But, the one on side two also loads up just as fast as it would on a floppy disk. Cool!

Even though I don't have problems with the other two games I have on cassette, I'm thinking of doing the same thing with them.

Oh, and if you want to give TurboTape a try for yourself, you can download a copy of the utility in the Media section. This is the program that I typed in from the associated magazine article, which I've also linked to in the Media section.


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blog/2022-09-29.txt · Last modified: 2022/09/29 15:59 by David