This section contains information on my various Commodore 64 and Classic gaming related interests.
17th April 2021
In the end I decided to update all the screen shots and sprite grabs to use the Pepto Palette for C64 colours, all the Apex section is more or less complete with the new colours.
This inspired me to complied all the sprites I've ripped from Creatures into one sprite sheet, this contains almost all fonts used in the game (including colour cycle details), most of the stage 1 enemies, Clyde Radcliff's animations and more.
11th April 2021
C64 colours are a pain, the VIC II chip is an analog chip so the colour output is open to interpretation.
In the VICE emulator you can select different colours palettes for the VIC II ), there are no fixed RGB values.
Now the VICE built-in palette is a little too bright, so I change CRT settings (VICII) brightness from 1000 to 600, this make the image look less bright and more natural, anothe method is instead select a different colour palette, I've always used the external VICE Palette as it's bright and vibrant.
I've been reading about the Pepto palettes where measurment were made on actual C64's, the Pepto website explains this quite well. - https://www.pepto.de/projects/colorvic/
The Pepto PAL Palette is much more muted and looks good with dithered images, I just think that some of the colours are a bit too muted (red is way too brown).
Here are the two palettes with HEX values too (VICE on the left, Pepto PAL on the right), as you can see the red and pink are very muted almost becoming just more brown.
Now when I played my C64 on a cheap 14inch portable TV back in 1989, the colours looks more like the Pepto PAL palatte, however when I bought my Philips CMM8833 MkII 14inch monitor in 1992 (along with an Amiga 500+), the screen colours were much more vibriant (more like the VICE Palette).
Here are the same images I posted a few months back but now using the Pepto PAL Palette.
All the images on this site use the VICE Palette, while Armalyte and Citadel do look great in the Pepto Pal Palette, Creatures just look better using the VICE Palette.
Playing on my LG OLED TV from the actual C64 (going through a Framemeister), the images looks bright and vibrant just like the VICE Palette, red is red and not brown.
So my conclusion for emulator image capture and screenshots is to stick with the VICE Palette for now.
20th January 2021
Here are some widescreen edits I made for Armalyte and Citadel C64 loading screens (Citadel is more of an ultrawide edit), I've also shown the original image so you can see the differences too.
I made these back in 2015 but never got around to posting them, I may look at some others in the future.
Both games are well worth playing.
24th October 2020
Some interesting stuff from Steve Rowlands.
Also added some external links to Chris (PantherUK) on the Music Cassettes page.
https://twitter.com/PantherUK2358 - Chris PantherUK Twitter
https://www.youtube.com/user/PantherUK/videos - PantherUK YouTube channel
21st May 2018
Wow the last five front covers have been edited, over the years I've learnt new techniques with editing which made these a little easier to retouch but even so these still took on average two hours each to clean up.
See the Zzap!64 Magazine section for the full resolution version and the rest of the completed collection.
I originally scanned these on 6th August 1999, so it's only taken me almost twenty years to complete the retouching.
I may move onto the Commodore Force front covers next, hopefully it shouldn't take another twenty years.
12th May 2018
It's taken a very long time but I've finally been motivated to editing another Zzap! 64 issue, this time issue 8 December 1985, see the Zzap!64 Magazine section for the full resolution version.
29th April 2018
Made a new Datahits pixel logo, then I decided to made a more detailed version four times bigger.
Also changed all the animated gifs to animated pngs, this makes it much easier to add new animations.
18th October 2017
Rescanned the Datahits cassette front, back and the actual cassette at 300dpi, much better detail, this makes the text easier to read too.
All great music from Martin Galway and Rob Hubbard,
Also go back the Project Rob Hubbard Kickstarter before it's too late.
29th September 2017
An updated game for the C64 on cartridge or digital from Thalamus Digital - Hunters Moon Remastered all on Kickstarter.
1st September 2017
Made two large stage sheets for Creatures with and without sprites, 5377x1400 resolution.
12th February 2017
Added the Atari ST disk image for the game Creatures to the Apex section.
7th January 2017
Cleaned up and checked all the Zzap! World 64 section site code.
The Zzap!64 Magazine section no longer uses a database and it's now all on one page along with Commodore Force.
Also put the Apex Computer Productions, The Great Giana Sisters and Music Cassettes on a static pages.
Sometimes it's just nice to have simple static pages, easier for updating and reading.
Added ACE magazine information for the Radio ACE music cassette.
27th December 2016
Now I have a better cassette player (rather than using an old Sony Walkman), I've re-recorded Thalamusic and the Datahits cassettes, they are now FLAC files for the best quality.
7th November 2016
Allister Brimble music is now on Bandcamp, this is a great service with good prices, you can also download FLAC version of the tunes rather than just low quality mp3's.
31st August 2015
I've just gone through all the Apex games, demos and updated all the TAP, G64, T64, D64, PRG files to the best versions available.
Also sorted out some broken links on the Giana page.
30th August 2015
I just bought the Turbo Chameleon 64 cartridge and a pair of Competition PRO Retro joysticks, it's a very interesting way to play the old C64 games on a modern VGA monitor.
Accompanied with a cheap 32GB SDHC memory card I bought for just £10, this fits all my games, SID files and more.
Did I mention the Turbo Chameleon 64 also plays SID tunes from it's built in file manager and they sound pretty darn good too.
Not cheap but well worth a look.
29th November 2014
You can now play Mayhem's Magic Dust for free in a web browser or on Facebook (Unity web player).
3rd November 2014
Matt Gray has a Kickstarter for a new album - Reformation C64 Track Remakes by Matt Gray (Last Ninja 2), it's well worth a look,
30th December 2013
Almost eighteen years ago some recordings were made from an Atari ST, I've added these musics to the Music Cassettes section.
Also added some classic C64 recordings I made back in 1992.
22nd October 2013
Allister Brimble has a new album - The Amiga Works it's well worth a look, better be quick as it's limited edition
12th October 2012
Added some links to the Apex section for Mayhem's Magic Dust Blackberry edition.
One thing I would like to see is a platform game like Mayhem's Magic Dust or Creatures updated to something like Xbox Live, this type of Indie game just requires a proper controller and the game deserves to be on the big screen.
I can just see something like Creatures with Steve's unique sprite style and music on Xbox Live, please make it happen as this generation is missing out on your wonderful art style and attention to detail.
Here's something I've posted before, the demo video came out in 2006 and nothing even came of it, now this sort of animation style would be great for a big TV game.
Here's a link to Steve Rolands YouTube page
26th April 2012
I was photographing all of my Gradius related posters and thought I would take a photo of my original Metro Force 1 poster I bought from Zzap! 64 magazine back in 1990.
Very nice art artwork originally by Oliver Frey, Issue No 3 - July 1985 of Zzap! 64 Magazine.
27th February 2012
I had a little spare time so I thought I would make an updated ACP logo and I'm quite pleased with the result.
Original ACP Logo
Resized and re-edited using original C64 colours and using modern colours.
GameStone ACP Logo - v2
GameStone ACP Logo - v2
25th February 2012
Added the review scan from Zzap! 64 magazine (Issue No 57 January 1990 - Page 8 and 9) for Apex Computer Productions excellent game Retrograde.
Finally got around to adding the tips scans for Retrograde, scanned from various issues of Zzap!64 Magazine.
I was a little bored of the old section logo so I quickly through together a hand painted Zzap! 64 logo, i will make a new logo in the future.
Also removed and updated some broken links in the links section.
12th February 2012
Added an advert scan for The Great Giana Sisters.
The Apex section now has scans of the cover cassettes for all the demos and scans from each issue of the magazine the demo was from.
Added screen shots for the Atari ST version of Creatures and a box scan for the Amiga version (Other Versions section of Apex - Creatures).
Lots of other little tweaks here and there.
Just like the Gradius Home World section on GameStone, I've added a style select switch, you can now have a Light or Dark Style site.
6th February 2012
Move the Music Cassettes section about a little, added Zzap Sampler tape front and TAP file (tape image) for use in the WinVICE Emulator, also added some icons to make the downloads more obvious.
Resized the Zzap Sampler scans to be the same size as one was a pixel smaller in height (was more noticeable when side by side)
Added the scans from Issue 26 of Zzap!64 magazine for the Zzap Sample cassette section.
I've decided to replace the Zzap!64 magazine front cover JPG's with the edited PNG files, these are a little better quality, also changed it so all the issues are displayed on the same page making a nice wall of colour.
The unedited issues of Zzap!64 magazine have also been added (the thumbnails are monochrome to show they are not edited), I will get to editing and retouching them eventually.
Would you believe it, I scanned the Zzap! 64 magazines way back in 1999, I started retouching issue 6 back in 2004 but gave up, but now issue 6 has been completed, only six issues to go for the complete retouched collection, hopefully it wont be another ten years.
4th February 2012
28th January 2012
Adjusted some of the colours and font sizes in both Creatures and Creatures 2 diaries sections.
Also after almost two years the cassette version loading tune for Retrograde has finally been dumped, it's not in the HVSC just yet but should be in the next release, but for those who cannot wait here it is.
I've also put the Disk version so you can compare the two, the Tape file is smaller as it only contains the loading tune where the disk file has all the other game tunes.
This was not ripped by me but by someone at the HVSC (High Voltage SID Collection) - http://www.hvsc.de/
Retrograde Tape Loader - SID - 4KB
Retrograde - SID - 10KB
29th December 2011
Updated all the section site code to html 5, this is in line with other sections here on GameStone.
No new content.
14th August 2010
I found this wonderful site selling art prints.
http://www.oliverfreyart.com/ - The Official site of Oliver Frey
Also Mayhem's Magic Dust is now available for Blackberry.
23rd May 2010
Zzap! 64 is now celebrating it's 25th Anniversary this month as the very first issue came out in May 1985, the same year Gradius came out in the arcades.
Redone the two Zzap! World 64 logos as the others were a bit blocky, also changed the layout to make it the same as my new Gradius Home World section layout.
Cleaned up some of the site php code as it was a bit messy.
Redone the Creatures and Creatures 2 Torture Trouble logos in the Apex section.
Finally got around to adding some Radio Ace recordings, kindly recorded by Ben.
I've always been annoyed that the HVSC Retrograde did not quite sound right, I've now found out that the Disk version and Tape versions of the game loading music sound different, the Disk version has pauses when the Tape does not.
This may be intentional or just a bug between the cassette and disk releases of the game.
Retrograde Tape loading tune - MP3 - 7meg
Retrograde Disk loading tune - MP3 - 7meg
I've put in a request to the HVSC people, lets see if I get a response.
22nd May 2010
After playing around with JSIDPlay, which is a very good for playing the tunes as it's better for filtered tunes, I had an idea to re-recorded Chris's version of the Delta Mix-E-Music loading tune.
I could not get the joystick working in JSIDPlay so I done the tune in WinVice, I've also attached the recorded file to play back in the emulator.
see the Music Cassettes section for the downloads.
JSIDPlay - Java SID player.
10th October 2009
Steve Rolands now has his own art site for animated phone backgrounds and wallpaper, some interesting stuff.
18th March 2009
Sorted out some broken links and database updates.
11th January 2009
Move the Zzap! World 64 database to a mysql 5.0 database, not much else done.
15th November 2008
While looking at YouTube I came across this video called 'Super Mayhem's Magic Dust', it was only added on the 22nd October 2008.
Now this looks good, great SoundFX, wonderful parallax scrolling with beautiful colourful graphics.
I never quite got on with the small mobile phone game as the displays are just too small but this looks like it will be on a bigger system, no information on which system yet but I think it could be Nintendo WiiWare, Xbox 360 Arcade or maybe the DS but I'll add new information when I get it.
Here's a link to Steve Rolands YouTube page
Also here's a link to Steve Rolands art page.
14th November 2008
Here's a great looking homebrew game for the PSP.
Mayhem in Monsterland PSP.
Author of the game.
Main section of his site.
18th October 2008
Mayhem in Monsterland has been released on Wii Virtual Console on 17th October 2008, 500 Wii Points.
Finally a game worth playing.
27th October 2007
Changed the site layout to look like other sections of GameStone.
29th June 2007
Changed the way the Zzap! 64 Magazine images on the site are viewed using the excellent Highslide script.
Condensed a few sections as the layout I made last year was a good idea at the time but look a bit crap now.
3rd April 2007
First update in nearly a year!!
Just a small bit of information on the Creatures 2 Demo that came on Commodore Format Issue ??, I will be looking into this to find the exact issue and date the magazine came out, thanks go to Andrew for the information.
16th April 2006
The 'The Fantasy Art of Oliver Frey' book is out
17th January 2006
Changed a few colours and sorted out the title displays for each section so they are easier to read.
26th November 2005
Site updated to a database, no real new content added (apart from Mayhem animations) just moved the sections around for better navigation and to speed up page loading.
I've added a countdown to 'The Fantasy Art of Oliver Frey' books release.
Take at look at this must have book with the art work of the great Oliver Frey, this comes out next year 7th April 2006.
Published by Thalamus Books
18th November 2005
All adverts removed from the site, deleted some old broken links from the Links section, changed the style of the site to my newest version of my style sheet (CSS).
Changed the top logo and the side navigation around a bit.
30th September 2005
I've added an animation of how to enter the Retrograde 'I HATE BROS' cheat.
26th August 2005
Has it really been 8 months since the last update!!, any way here are a few new mp3 tunes.
Chris's Delta Mix-e-load (three versions) in mp3 format and the long lost 'Rob's Latest Work' from the Radio Ace [Magazine] audio cassette. See the Datahits section for more details.
23rd January 2005
Added Creatures Thalamus The Hits rom (single side version) and Retrograde Tape, I only have side 1 so the game is not playable.
Cyberdyne Warrior is on the new Commodore 64 DTV (Direct to TV).
Buy it and also read the Review
22th January 2005
Stages 3.1 & 3.2 as a single image with and without sprites added to the Creatures Stage sections, also added Torture Screen 2 (Chaz) and 3 (Chuck) with and without sprites.
That's all the Stages ripped now, I got the idea from another site where they had the complete layout of Pitfall II as a single image and it looked very good.
15th January 2005
Stages 2.1 & 2.2 as a single image with and without sprites added to the Creatures Stage sections, also added Torture Screen 1 (Chip) with and without sprites.
Just two Torture Screens and Two Stages to go.
8th January 2005
Changed the colour palette on most of the Apex images because I had the wrong palette set in VICE, all the images are much more colourful now.
Added all the sprites I had missed to the Stage 1.1 Sprites image and sorted out some water problems.
Stage 1.2 as a single image with and without sprites added to the Creatures Stage section.
6th January 2005
Moved the Links page about, added a few new links and sorted out some dead links.
After wading through dozens of crap to find the original (not cracked or trained) games by Apex, I have found Creatures 2 Torture Trouble tape and Creatures disk, I have also found Retrograde tape but only the side 1 file so the game does not work, I will add this if I can find the side 2 file.
Creatures 2 Torture Trouble tape and Creatures disk have been added to the downloads page.
5th January 2005
Cyberdyne Warrior tape version added to the download section.
2nd January 2005
Added Creatures stage information and images including all of Stage 1.1 as a single image with and without sprites.
31st December 2004
Yet another Zzap! 64 cover scan retouched (again!!) - Issue 22 - February 1987, Only seven issue to go now!!!
Fuzzy Factory and The Clyde Guide art have been added to the Creatures 2 Torture Trouble diary pages.
28th December 2004
The Birth of Mayhem in Monsterland added.
I have merged the SID tunes into just one 88k ZIP file as the files are small anyway and its easier to download the complete collection in one go rather than select twelve small files.
Added some Mayhem in Monsterland ZX Spectrum art work.
27th December 2004
Added all the scanned images for the Creature II Torture Trouble diary's.
Creatures KIXX budget release box scan added.
New Artwork section opened to show all the works by Steve Rowlands.
Commodore Amiga MOD tunes (not bad, shame about the game) and lots of mp3 music also added to the Apex Downloads section.
Commodore Amiga Creatures Torture Demo and Full game added.
24th December 2004
Added screen shots and information for all the Apex demos, also added 'Music Bits - Music Select System 2' to the download section. Changed this page slightly to make it easier to read
23rd December 2004
Creatures 2 Torture Trouble - Zzap! 64 cover mount demo, Mayhem in Monsterland - Commodore Force cover mount demo, Creatures Emap Show Demo and Retrograde disk version have been added to the Apex Download section.
22nd December 2004
Creatures 2 Torture Trouble - The Clyde Guide Part Seven, Eight and Nine complete, only the image to be added now.
Added a list of the reviews for the various Apex game and many magazines (Zzap! 64, Commodore Force and Commodore Format). I'm missing the information and scans on 'Creatures - Commodore Format' review (was this magazine even going then?).
Added Creatures Zzap!64 cover mount Torture Demo and the complete game of Creatures on cassette.
19th December 2004
Creatures 2 Torture Trouble - The Fuzzy Factory Part Five and (the renamed Clyde Guide) Six complete, only three more parts to go.
Added an Apex download page and moved all the file downloads from the various sections to that section.
14th December 2004
Creatures 2 Torture Trouble - The Fuzzy Factory Part Two, Three and Four complete, I will add the images when I have written up the other five parts.
13th December 2004
Creatures 2 Torture Trouble - The Fuzzy Factory Part One has been added to the Creature II section, the other eight parts have been OCR'ed but need editing (OCR is not perfect but is better than typing the whole lot from scratch)
12th December 2004
Started typing up Creatures 2 Torture Trouble - The Fuzzy Factory Diary's, not much done yet until I get a better OCR package (as reading and typing is no fun at all). Moved the Creatures page about a bit.
11th December 2004
Another update!!! this time two Zzap! 64 cover scan retouched (finally) - Issue 4 (Beach Head II) and Issue 16 (Green Beret), I may get around to doing the final eight so I can complete the collection.
Added a few more animated gif's to Creatures and Creature 2 sections, screen shots to Retrograde and Mayhem in Monsterland
5th December 2004
Finally got around the typing up the seventh and final part of Creatures - Creature Feature - The diary of a game
23rd November 2004
Changed the site layout to a new technique I have learnt, no real new content added but the information is laid out much better.
9th June 2004
Started an update section (this bit you are reading), updated the links section, added a Contact page, sorted out bad links etc...
8th June 2004
Moved the Apex Computer Productions section about quite a bit so now the pages are cleaner and better laid out.
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