Retro schedule:

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Retro Treasures : Metroid 2 (GameBoy) [[source]]

Metroid 2, or to give it its full name Metroid II: Return of Samus, is a brilliant and unbelievably atmospheric game that could only have worked on the Nintendo Game Boy and, happily, that's the platform it was launched for. Exclusively so. Then again, chances are you know this already and are ready to hop over to eBay and bid on this Metroid 2 auction.
It's the complete boxed version of the game and it comes with cartridge and manual. Seller ships to Europe, Asia, United States, Canada and Australia.

Vintage is the new old : Commodore C64 vs. ZX Spectrum – Let them fight! [[source]]

c64-vs-speccy2 The epic battle to end all battles has arrived and the argument that made 80’s school playgrounds buzz will be settled once and for all. Which was better – The Spectrum or the C64?

This video was recorded live at Play Expo 2014, with John Gibson and Ste Pickford on the Spectrum side, and Andy Walker and Jeff Minter fighting for the Commodore 64. The sound quality is not good unfortunately, but it is still worth to take a pick.

Link: YouTube

Australian Retro Gamer : PAX Aus 2014: It’s On Like Donkey Kong [[source]]

PAX Aus 2014 is (almost) here people! There was a certain buzz today as exhibitors were scrambling to set up their respective areas. Speaking of which, the Classic Gaming area was coming along quite nicely, thanks to our fellow retroholics from Retro Domination, Retrospekt and Weird and Retro. Here are a few sneaky behind-the-scenes pics. […]

nIGHTFALL : Commodore Dual Drive Floppy Disk Model 4040 Repair [[source]]

Commodore Dual Drive Floppy Disk Model 4040 Repair Defect: Completely dead with all LEDs lit up like a christmas tree. Replaced parts: Replaced 1 x LM340K (7812) Voltage Regulator (VR1) Replaced 1 x 7406 Hex Inverter Buffers/Drivers (UJ6) Replaced 1 x 6522 (VIA) Versatile Interface Adapter (UM3) Replaced 1 x 6504 8-Bit CPU (UH3) Replaced [...]

Retro Treasures : The FM Towns II Personal Computer [[source]]

Japanese PCs have a long history of sporting brilliant, quirky ideas and wild design decisions, and are almost always lovely to look at. This particular FM Towns II I run into while searching through eBay is a fine example of the above. It's a great looking, elegant, compact machine with a built-in CD-ROM drive and dual disk drives, that comes both with a mouse and keyboard.
Now, as this update on the original line of FM Towns computers is rather obscure a) I can't say much about the things technical capabilities and b) it's probably quite rare -- at least in the West. Apparently, the PC was released in 1989 and came with the added ability to read audio CDs and upgraded graphics.
Seller's shipping to Europe, the USA, Canada and Australia.

nIGHTFALL : CBM prg Studio v3.2.0 released [[source]]

CBM prg Studio Version 3.2.0 is released. There are a lot of new features in this version. I’d really appreciate it if you report any bugs you find or have any suggestions/comments. CBM prg Studio allows you to type a BASIC or Machine Code program in using a nice Windows environment and convert it to [...]

Vintage is the new old : New version 1.3 of the emulator ZEsarUX has been released [[source]]

zesaruxZEsarUX is an open source Sinclair emulator for Unix-like OSes (Linux, Raspbian, Mac OSX, etc). It emulates 16k, 48k, Inves Spectrum+, Spectrum 128k (English and Spanish), Spectrum +2 (English, Spanish and French), Spectrum +2A (English and Spanish), Microdigital TK90X (Portuguese and Spanish), TK95, ZX80, ZX81.

Release notes for version 1.3:
  • Added experimental support for raspberry (raspbian)
  • Added Framebuffer Device video driver (fbdev)
  • Added functions to overlay machine information on display
  • Added Quickload function
  • Added manual frameskip option
  • Added autodetect WRX mode on ZX80/81
  • More…
Source: World of Spectrum Forum
Link: SourceForge

Vintage is the new old : Apple IIc Plus – Bootstrap [[source]]

blondihacks-appleiic-bootstrapQuinn Dunki is back again with another blog post, this time talking about how she bootstrapped her Apple IIc. The article is full of useful information and fun to read.

“This is a distinctly modern problem. Back in the day, the machine would have, of course, come with many bootable disks, any number of which could be used to create subsequent bootable disks. The machines have largely outlived their original software, however, so we’re in a classic chicken-and-egg quandary. Luckily, we can break the cycle by going deeper.” Check it out following the link below.

Link: Blondihacks

Red Parsley : Computer Shmups #2 [[source]]

Cybernoid: The Fighting Machine (1987)
By: Raffaele Cecco / Hewson Consultants Genre: Shooting / Puzzle Players: 1 Difficulty: Hard
Featured Version: ZX Spectrum First Day Score: 3,825
Also Available For: NES, Amiga, Atari St, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC
Download For: Wii Virtual Console

Before the days of the internet, us gamers had to rely on magazine reviews to tell us which titles we should add to our collections. One that received unanimous acclaim from all of them was Cybernoid, but once I duly purchased it (or received it as a gift, as was more likely the case!), I found myself with a different opinion. Being a Raffaele Cecco game, the quality of the graphics and presentation were a given, but it wasn't as nice to play as it was to look at for me, with the unforgiving difficulty and frustrating nature of the gameplay quickly turning me off. But that was a long time ago and, while I've never been the most talented of gamers and my meagre skills haven't exactly improved over the intervening years, I nonetheless figured it was time to revisit this much-loved classic to see if it finally captivated me the way it apparently did so many other gamers.

These things are the toughest parts of the game for me...
Like most shmups, the objective is simple enough - the 'Federation' storage depots have been raided by pirates and it's your job to retrieve the minerals, jewels, and ammunition they've taken which are spread over three tough flick-screen stages featuring a total of fifty-six screens. These feature a mix of stationary defences like wall-mounted guns and motion-sensitive missiles, obstacles such as destructible blocks and devices with uppy-downy things between pillars (like the one to the right here), and the enemy raiders themselves which consist of small-but-infinite ships. Destroying the latter is the only way to finish the game 'properly' too, as they're the ones that carry the stolen booty. Some of them, when destroyed, will drop whatever they're carrying, and you have to collect enough of it within the time allowed. Doing this gives you bonus points as well as an extra life at the end of the stage.

That thing that looks like a bee hive is a dangerous gun...
If you don't collect enough stuff or the time limit runs down, you can still progress but with no bonuses. Your ship, known as the Cybernoid, strangely enough, is equipped with several weapons. The default, and only unlimited example, is its pea-shooter gun which is enough to take out destructible blocks and the many pirate spacecraft, but the other weapons should be used sparingly. They are selected using the 1-5 keys and include bombs, impact mines, a defence shield, bounce bombs, and seeker (homing missile). Though limited, these can all be replenished (albeit slowly) by collecting any weapon cannisters dropped by the pirates, and if you're lucky you might also find a 'Cybermace', which whirls around your ship smacking up all it touches, or a handy rear-firing attachment, and both last until you lose a life. Despite all these gadgets, though, Cybernoid is still a very challenging game, although inconsistently so.

Looks like a 'bounce bomb' is called for here...
Some screens, for example, are a piece of cake and feature little of concern but others can be brutal. Even some of the easier ones will claim a good few lives before you get the hang of them while others remain super-tough every time you encounter them. Only some of the screens include pirate ships but those that do feature an unending swarm of them, and if the screen also has a gun or a wall-hugging caterpillar thing or some other hazard, they can be a nightmare to pass. A big part of the reason is that your ship is affected by gravity which makes some obstacles much harder than they would've otherwise been. I guess it has to be rather difficult though, since it's actually quite a short game. You'll return to the start if you do manage to finish it but there are only three distinct levels and they could be bested by a more talented gamer than me in a not-too-colossal fifteen minutes. It's a pretty addictive game too, so you may see at least a majority of what's on offer pretty quickly.

Eeek, lots of pirate ships attack!
Unless you end up destroying your computer first, obviously! Part of the appeal, and almost certainly what dazzled the reviewers back in its day, is down to the graphics, and dazzling they are too! Sprites and landscapes are very detailed but even more impressive is the abundance of colour, and there's not even much clash either. Sound is minimal for 48k users but the 128k version has a very impressive (if repetitive) tune that tootles away throughout. Indeed, it's still a mighty impressive game today, and watching a skilled player blast through it would make it seem amazing, but I still found it a bit too frustrating to play for long. It's a bit of an odd mixture of styles actually - mostly shoot 'em up but with gravity game elements (though it's not a 'true' gravity game) and some puzzley aspects to a few of the obstacles, and they work very well together - I just wish it was a bit easier. Cybernoid is still very much a showcase Speccy title but it'll probably have you tearing your hair out too.

RKS Score: 7/10

Vintage is the new old : Drop /// Inches interviews Colette Askeland [[source]]

d3i-header-bare-1260x240 It is common knowledge that Dr. Wendell Sander is the “father” of the Apple ///, and that Daniel Kottke was the lead tech for the Sara project. But did you know that before Colette Askeland was doing board layout design for the original Macintosh prototypes, she was the PCB layout artist for the ///?
For some reason, her involvement with Apple’s first business computer has been largely ignored by history, but Drop /// Inches was fortunate to be able to chat with her about the long hours and difficult work she did before moving on to greater recognition as an original member of the Mac team. You can listen to this podcast episode following the link below:

Source: A2Central

nIGHTFALL : Considerable donation of retro things for my Repair Laboratory [[source]]

I must thank my friends which have contributed to the growth of my Repair Laboratory with donations of spare parts. For this donation i thank: Andrea Pierdomenico, Paolo M.R, Paolo Cognetti. The items listed below are in poor condition and they are not working. Donated items: 2 x Atari 800 XL 1 x Amstrad CPC [...]

Retro Treasures : Fresh Homebrew: Larry LLFLL (NES) [[source]]

With Nintendo's infamous censorship policy defining the better part of '80s console gaming, it's no wonder that Sierra's classic Leisure Suit Larry games never appeared on the NES. Until now that is, as indie/homebrew studio KHAN Games have finally finished their excellent looking port of the original Larry game: Larry LLFLL or Larry and the Long Look for a Luscious Lover.The seemingly wonderful adaptation of the classic adventure has everything we all loved in the original, a refined interface and will run on your NES regardless of region. This means you'll actually be able to use the iconic joypad to buy a ribbed, oddly flavoured, yellow rubber, gamble and try to find love. 

The Larry LLFLL cartridge will set you back an incredibly reasonable $50 and will come complete with dust sleeve, full colour manual, box and on board flash memory to save your games. Also, it looks fantastic.

Australian Retro Gamer : DIY Retrogaming Clock [[source]]

Stuck what to buy for your gamer partner? How about upcycling (Ed: oo’er, fancy word!) that tired old clock you have hanging on the kitchen wall? What a great idea! Not only will you save money, you will also get a sense of fulfillment by creating something that is uber cool and not to mention […]