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19 March 2022

Part II: Playing the C64 demos from the MEGA65 on boarding SD Card

by Steven B. Combs, Ph.D.

This is the companion blog post for my 2022-03-13 live stream edit; Part II: Playing the C64 demos from the MEGA65 on boarding SD Card. This 29 minute video is an edit of a longer one hour and thirty-five minute live stream where I continue my look at the “b-side” of the MEGA65 onboarding SD card that includes a C64 disk image full of games and demos to run on the MEGA65 in Commodore 64 mode. Before the demos, I share a couple of recent retro-related purchases, or RRRPs, or triple R P!

If you need to get caught up, be sure and check out part one. Here are the details:

Table of Contents

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Companion YouTube Video

Title: Part II: Playing the C64 demos from the MEGA65 on boarding SD Card

In the video below, I continue my exploration of the C64 disk image included with the MEGA65 onboarding SD card.

Watch the Entire Live Stream

If this edit isn’t enough and you want to watch the entire livestream, including additional content and another unboxing, you get it here. For a buck, you can support the channel and watch the entire one-hour and twenty-minute version. It’s fun to see what I have chopped out while laughing along at my errors!

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Video Errata

None as of 2022-03-19.

Below are the links I mention in this blog post and companion video. All Amazon links are affiliate links. I’d like to thank everyone for your support of the blog and the YouTube channel by starting your purchases here!

  1. MEGA65
  2. Hyperkin Ranger Controller
  3. Hyperkin Trooper Controller
  4. Hybernated I for MEGA65


I unbox three items purchased from AliExpress and I’m likely never to purchase from them again. Long arrival times make me forget what I ordered! I’m using Amazon links below for faster shipping.

  1. $10 HDMI Capture Device - To use with OBS studio but these work to capture the MEGA65.
  2. $26 Vacuum Solder Sucker - I’m afraid to plug it in. I’ll let you know how it goes.
  3. $8 Solder Fan - but looks like a PC fan with a USB-C connection.

B-Side Commodore C64 Demos and Games Continued

Below is a list of the demos and games I share along with thoughts and links. We’ll start with the games (the programs on the disk image above the line).

NOTE: LOAD commands include blank space and I represent these with the character.

C64Anabalt - An impressive side-scroller, available on cartridge, is an official conversion of Adam Atomic & Danny B.’s award-winning single-button 2009 indie game C64Anabalt for the 8-Bit, 64KB RAM, 1Mhz Commodore 64 home computer developed by Paul Koller.


Super Natural - A early version conversion of the commercial game Guns ‘n’ Ghosts by Georg Rottensteiner. A one or two player platformer that includes power-ups and some great music.


Shotgun - This game from DrWuro, is a 2 to four player death match style survival game. To play with four players, you need to purchase a Multiplayer Interface.


Frogs - Another game from DrWuro, this one might make you think of the classic game, Frogger; however, Frogs - 4-Player Frog Pond is a different reptile all together. Another four player game; “It’s springtime again, and the FROGS are hanging around at the pond, listening to funky freestyle music and trying to prove who’s the coolest of them all. For this, they are competing in some funny competitions, which you can re-enact using your Commodore C64/C128, in a group of up to 4 players!” To play with four players, you need to purchase a Multiplayer Interface.


Below the line are the C64 demos. Below is the list of demos shown during the livestream.

Dragon II - Strike the 1 through 0 keys on the keyboard to listen to ten SID songs, programmed by Electro, from the game, Dragon’s Lair II.

LOAD Command: LOAD "DRAGON II/ELC␣␣␣" ←Note the 3 extra spaces.

Surfing - Direct from 1988 and complete with messages to you, from the developer, Surfing by Mechanix presents a single image with continual music as a stream-of-consciousness scrolls along the bottom of the screen. Be sure to tap the spacebar to enter the demo after the introduction screen. Warning! Adult language.

LOAD Command: LOAD "SURFING␣␣␣␣/2124"

Time for Dole - Time for Dole by Mechanix (1988) is a flasher with impressive mood music. When I mention flasher, please beware. The screen constantly flashed and could trigger seizure; seriously! While colorful, I found it difficult to watch for extended periods of time.

LOAD Command: "TIME 4 DOLE /MEC"

Triad - Beginning with a fun PETSCII “terminal-type” loader, PC-Pert by Triad (1988) includes three parts (get it, Triad?) you activate by tapping the spacebar. Colorful and full of impressive multi-channel SID music, the demo features large bouncing and scrolling text.


Antic - Impressive rotating 3D text highlights this demo. The [Antic Demo by Transcom (1988) scrolls text so fast you can’t even read it!


D.Y.C.P. - Somebody likes text on curves. D.Y.C.P. by Jewels (1988) asks you to watch the text float around the screen in a wavy pattern while pondering the question, “what does D.Y.C.P. stand for, anyway?”


Greenwars - As a U.S. Army retiree, this one speaks to me. Greenwars by Science Fiction Crackings and The Last Science (1988) begins with a brief national anthem intro followed by text showed this demo includes music from the Green Berets. My favorite part is the flashing image of soldiers on patrol.


Star Riders - Star Riders by Reptilia Design (1988) starts with a single screen hinting at great things to come with this demo if you connect a joystick. Not may demos are interactive. Give this one a shot.


Electric Cafe - There’s nothing like floating 3D disembodied heads as the developers of Electric Cafe by Ash & Dave (1988) must have thought; because that is what you get in this demo!


That’s the Way it is - As with many demos, [CSDb] - That’s the Way It Is by Scoop (1988) begins with hellos and creditss followed by massive vertical scrolling text! While the intro itself is impressive, press the spacebar to begin the demo to be treated to a 1980s “space-babe” in a swimsuit, ON THE MOON?!? How is she breathing?


XESS2-Rewind - A countdown, followed by six low-resolution classic video game screens atop an 8-bit control panel, and patriotic music highlights XESS 2 - Rewind by XESS (1987).


Rock This C64CG - Rock This by C64 Comics Group (1987) stresses the words, “Rock This” throughout the demo that includes a muted color podium held by two equally muted characters. I can’t tell what they are and if you do, drop a comment below. The side scrolling vertical text is impressive.


Omega Eight Demo - In the Omega 8, there’s spacebar pressing as you move through sections which includes a glitchy load screen that makes you think your C64 has locked up. It will reward your patience.


Shades - “The future’s so bright, I gotta wear, Shades!” You won’t need your shades for this one. Run the program and keep on programming. SYS 2064 will restart the demo, but beware, the NEW command will purge that little ditty right out of memory.


Airwolf Music - This music, by “The Deft”, is so accurate to the original 1980s television theme song that I’ll likely get a copyright strike in my companion YouTube channel demo.


Final Thoughts

We have another round of demos to go and I’ll cover those during another live stream; or Part III. Subscribe to both the blog and the YouTube channel (and hit that alert button) to receive updates.

The C64 disk image is a nice addition to the MEGA65. It is my understanding that they prepared the SD Cards for the spring release of the MEGA65. It is unlikely any of the titles will change, but what’s included is a nice way to highlight C64 mode. There are many more demos that I didn’t have time to view and there will be a part III. If you have interest, leave your comments below or under the video.

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