• Category Archives Apple ][
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  • Winter Games (Epyx, 1985)

    Winter Games (Epyx, 1985)


    As I mentioned in my previous post on the subject, the Epyx Games series were my favorite sports games of the 8-bit era. Of those, Winter Games was probably my favorite.


    Like Summer Games, Winter Games was developed first for the Commodore 64 and then ported to a wide variety of computer and video game platforms. This ad explicitly mentions the Commodore 64, Apple II and Macintosh so I suspect those were the first three available. Again, the events available varied slightly depending on which version you were playing but the original Commodore 64 version includes Hot Dog (freestyle ski jump where you do tricks), Biathlon, Figure Skating, Ski Jump, Speed Skating, Free Skating and Bob Sled.


    Though the events are different, the setup is just like Summer Games. One to eight players, practice, compete in some or compete in all events, etc. My favorite events were Hot Dog, Bob Sled, Biathlon, Ski Jump and Speed Skating. That’s most of them but then that’s why this is my favorite of the series. I like most of the events.


    Interestingly, the original Commodore 64 version of the game was released on Nintendo’s Virtual Console in 2009. Unfortunately, I believe it was a European only release. However, like Summer Games it was also available on the C64 DTV. If you can’t find on of those and don’t live in Europe and you want to give it a try, you’ll have to track down an original copy or an emulator and disk image. Make sure you are using a decent Atari style digital joystick for best results though!

  • Rescue on Fractalus (Commodore 64, Apple II, Atari 8-bit)

    Rescue on Fractalus (Commodore 64, Atari, Apple)


    Though it may not be as true today, in the 1980s you could almost always count on a Lucasfilm game (or Epyx game for that matter) to be of high quality. Rescue on Fractalus is no exception. It was initially developed for the Atari 8-bit line of computers (and the Atari 5200 which is essentially the same thing internally anyway) and later ported to other popular computers such as the Commodore 64, Apple II and even the Tandy Color Computer 3 (a rare high profile 3rd party title for that system). It was developed by Lucasfilm Games and distributed by Epyx, Activision or Atari depending on the version and location it was released.

    Commodore 64

    In Rescue on Fractalus, you pilot a spaceship through mountainous terrain looking for downed pilots to rescue. Once found, you must land close enough so that the downed pilot can make it to your ship before dying in the acidic atmosphere. To make matters more difficult, aliens take pot shots at you during you search. In addition, they will sometimes impersonate downed pilots in an attempt to get aboard your ship. One unique aspect of this game is that the terrain is generated using fractals (hence the name).

    Atari 8-bit

    This is definitely a challenging game but one that is well worth playing. Both the Atari 8-bit and Commodore 64 versions are good and are easy enough to find for emulation purposes if you can’t track down an original (or don’t have the equipment). This game would make for a great modern remake but alas there have been none. The most “modern” versions are a slightly expanded Atari XE/XEGS version with more levels and an unfinished Atari 7800 prototype that was discovered in 2004.

    A strategy guide and a little bit more info about the game can be found here: http://www.megalextoria.com/wordpress/index.php/2017/03/15/rescue-on-fractulus-atari-xe-strategy/

  • Hardcore Computist – Issue Number 16


    Source: Hardcore Computist – Issue Number 16 

    Hardcore Computist was a long running technically oriented Apple II magazine. It was somewhat controversial because it was mostly dedicated to circumventing copy protection. Issue number 16 from 1985 includes the following:

      • Secret Weapon: RAMCard – If you have an Apple IIe and haven’t been able to RESET into the monitor for some of Hardcore Computist’s softkey procedures, the auxiliary memory in your extended 80-column card may just do the trick for you.
      • Deprotecting Sensible Speller for ProDOS – Another chapter in the continuing saga of Sensible Speller Softkeys. This time we uncover the secrets to the deprotection of the ProDOS version.
      • Core Section
        • The Controller Writer – Have you found that writing Super IOB controllers is too difficult or time consuming? Sweat no more! The Controller Writer will quickly and easily generate custom Super IOB controllers for you. You only need answer a few simple questions to get things started.
        • A Fix For The Beyond Castle Wolfenstein Softkey
        • The Lone Catalog Arranger – Part One: The BASIC program. With this program and the program appearing in next month’s issue you will be able to easily edit your disk directories. Includes these commands: file order modification, renaming, deleting and undeleting.
      • Softkey for Sideways – Yes, it is possible to backup (and unprotect) your valuable Sideways diskette. Read this article to discover exactly how.
      • Departments
        • Input
        • Readers’ Softkey & Copy Exchange
          • Rescue Raiders Softkey And APT’s
          • Deprotecting Sheila
          • Deprotecting Basic Building Blocks
          • Deprotecting Artsci Programs
          • <Softkey for Crossfire

    …and more!