20-Year-Old Missing Dizzy Game Recovered

As a child, Dizzy was my games series. While others were swept up by Mario, and later Sonic the Hedgehog, and while they certainly engaged me, I always came back to that egg-shaped adventurer, my Commodore 64 sitting alongside my Mega Drive for far longer than I expected it to.

A franchise of platform puzzlers, the Dizzy games were developed by twins Andrew and Philip Oliver, starting with Dizzy – The Ultimate Cartoon Adventure in 1987, followed in 1988 and 1989 by Treasure Island Dizzy (the soundtrack for which still gives me goosebumps) and Fantasy Island Dizzy (my favourite of the series), respectively. Following the third game, the Oliver Twins began to outsource future sequels, with Big Red Software taking the reins.

However, the brothers themselves were working on what was to be the final game in the series, Wonderland Dizzy, due for release on the NES in 1993. Sadly, Codemasters chose not to release the game and shelved it indefinitely.

Wonderland Dizzy was thought lost many years ago, but a presentation made by the Olivers during a retro gaming convention in Blackpool piqued the pair’s curiosity over their lost Dizzy entry – they presented a map from the game at the event, but realised they had no memory of creating it – motivating Philip to search his house to jog his memory. “We couldn’t remember if it was a new game, whether it was finished and whether it would even run,” Philip told The Independent.

In his loft in Leamington Spa, Philip found a 3.5-inch floppy disk, marked “Wonderland Dizzy. Nintendo source complete”. Even after 22 years, the disk still worked. The game was recovered, missing only the final compiled game file. The brothers, who currently run the Radiant Worlds studio, no longer had the old equipment necessary to compile the data, contacted the owner of Dizzy fansite, Yolkfolk.com for help, who pointed them in the direction of a Polish coder. In a matter of days, Lukasz Kur delivered a ROM image of Wonderland Dizzy.

“We were amazed,” Philip said. “He had got it working and we were finally able to see the game up and running again through an emulator. But it was very hard and slightly buggy so we spoke to Lukasz and asked him if could fix some of the problems and add a fun mode with infinite lives.”

“We played this old game and slowly the memories re-emerged,” Philip added. “Andrew remembered how he programmed the rescuing of each of the Yolkfolk and I remembered added a Cheshire Cat. But we had to work out the puzzles all over again because we’d completely forgotten them.”

Wonderland Dizzy is available for free at wonderlanddizzy.com, which includes a competition to win a Dizzy-related prize, plus other Dizzy merchandise being auctioned to raise money for the Children in Need charity drive.

The release has the blessing of Codemasters too, Philip said. “I had a conversation with Codemasters to inform them what we were doing and Frank Sagnier the new CEO was happy, saying it can do no harm to raise the profile of Dizzy and the goodwill of the community.”

Image courtesy of EmuParadise.

Commodore Is Back and Targeting the Smartphone Market With New Android Phone

For those of you too young to know who Commodore is, you should know that it was a big tech company back in the ’80s who went into the Guinness record for selling thousands of Commodore 64 desktop units daily. The craze for the Commodore 64 was so big that it was named ‘the single biggest-selling computer ever’, selling around 17 millions worldwide.

But enough about what the company did in the past, let us focus on the present and the future. If you thought Commodore’s days are over, think again! There have been a bit of confusion when Commodore Amiga, a potential Apple Mac Mini rival, was announced back in 2012, but we haven’t heard anything about it since then and it also seems the Commodore USA website which delivered the latter information went offline.

However, the latest news from Commodore is that the company seems to shift its focus on the smartphone market. Besides the Commodore 64, their first desktop computer was named Commodore PET (Personal Electronic Transactor). Well, their first ever smartphone bears the same name, so say hello to Commodore’s new PET smartphone!

The new, improved and ‘miniaturized’ version of the PET seems to be running on Android 5.0 and features a 5.5-inch IPS 1920 x 1080 resolution display. In terms of performance, it comes with a Mediatek 64-bit Octa-Core CPU clocked at 1.7 GHz and features the ARM Mali T760 GPU. Even the battery seems promising, coming with a huge 3,000 mAh pack.

Other features consist of a 13-megapixel back camera made by Sony, with a f/2.0 aperture, being able to snap pictures at a resolution of up to 4096×2304 pixels and record 1080p HD videos. There is also a 8-megapixel front camera with an 80° wide-angle, which can also be triggered by the side shutter button. You won’t be disappointed in terms of connectivity either, having the handset come with dual-sim support, 4G LTE compatibility.

To bring forth the nostalgia of old times, Commodore said to have built in a VICE C64 emulator and the Uae4All2-SDL Amiga emulator and is working with some software developers to port its old ’80 Commodore games to the latest PET handset. So now that some, if not all of you are excited about the information, let’s move on to the most important bit… when will we see it on the market? You’ll be more hyped by that information.

The Commodore PET is said to launch later this week in two versions. The ‘light’ version is said to feature 2GB of RAM, 16 GB storage and be priced at around $300, while a higher-end version will be featuring 3GB of RAM, 32GB storage and a price tag of $365. In terms of storage space, you should know that the handset is said to already be fitted with a 32GB microSD card, but information states it can support microSD cards of up to 64GB. So, this means you can get your very one portable Commodore PET with a total of either 80 or 96 GB, depending on what model you fancy.

The initial launch will be in Europe with the first countries to see the handset named to be Italy, France, Germany, and Poland, but more are bound to be added to the list in the near future. Given the old Commodore fans are still out there, demands for the new PET smartphone is likely to build up really quick. Will you order one? Let us know!

Thank you Wired for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of linuxzone.es

25-Year-Old Commodore 65 Computer Sells for $23,000 on eBay

No, that headline is not a typo: though anyone alive during the Eighties will be familiar with popular home computer the Commodore 64, its lesser-known younger cousin the Commodore 65 was released in 1990 as a bridge between the 8-bit C64 and Commodore’s 16-bit machine, the Amiga.

Though the C65 (or Commodore 64DX, as it was also known) was also 8-bit, and backwards-compatible with the C64, it offered similar functionality to the more advanced Amiga, with upgradeable RAM and a 3.5-inch integrated floppy disk drive.

Only between 50 and 200 C65s still exist – the project was cancelled not long after it went into production – so when this particular model popped up on eBay, there was a fervent rush of bids, finally culminating in a $23,000 sale.

Source: Gizmodo

Commodore 64 – Watch_Dogs 1989 Edition

It’s not the first time we’ve seen a retro-edition of a new game, remember the old school shoot em’ up version of Borderlands that was released a couple of years ago? Well aside from the fact that this game would need to shit on a colossal amount of floppy discs, or lots of very slow loading cassette tapes, the video shows us what Watch_Dogs could have looked like all those years ago.

In fairness it is just a bit of fun, even by 1989 standards the game looks too advanced, I loved my Commodore 64 and yet I have to admit it wasn’t capable of being this good. I certainly wouldn’t say no to this being created as some kind of an indie title, as it does look a lot of fun, is somewhat basic when compared to its real-world and very much playable counterpart.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/Ml3jjWssiCs[/youtube]

With all the hype surrounding this game at the moment, I’ve seen a few cool videos relating to the game, but none was as cool as this one from a few days ago.

Thank you YouTube for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of YouTube.