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Plus/4 World : It's A Mexican Standoff! Sigma Vs. Aurrerá Vs. Commodore [source]


Even nowadays, in 2019, some dark corners exist, fields in the shadows of that vast territory — both in space and time — which we use to refer as: Commodore 16 history. The immense expansion of the Commodore home computers' phenomenon in the Eighties has someways contributed to build up some unexplored zones regarding the 264 series too, from where picking up infos software and hardware is basically quite a hard task to achieve.The history about how the Commodore 16 did conquer a slice of the home computers' market in Mexico — and several Mexican teens too! — represents one of those fascinating obscure stuff we described just before. The whole tale orbits around Grupo Sigma S.A. and its collaboration with the supermarket chain Aurrerá to take the Commodore licence in Mexico, distributing a series of NTSC based Commodore machines, under the two logos "Sigma-Commodore". Sigma had then feeded the software request too, both importing/translating/upgrading true official CBM signed games (education games, mostly), and producing some new software for the internal market too.Nowadays, the Commodore hardware produced by Sigma is a rarity, and in any case it's an item difficult to have even for the most skilled collectors here around, being strictly located in Mexico. On the software side, few sporadic signs of life have succesfully been unearthed: most of what we know, comes from the online markets, showing some bids around weird cartridges (see as example: Jack Attack, C16 Tutor, Domino (Sigma)...), and some quite rare publications (Introducción Al Basic Sigma Commodore 16 Parte I, Como Programar Su Sigma Commodore 16...). And that was all we knew about. Till now.Finally, May 2019: Juan José Vélez, maintainer of SigmaCommodore.com, after very few posts since its opening in 2015, has freed 4 disk sides in .D64 format to all the nostalgic once-were-kids out there, coupled with the Facebook page featuring rare pictures about finds of that era. This little but remarkably precious collection is the very first actual contact with the Mexican's C16 experience, so let's see what's been found into it:– old Commodore's educational games, mostly about English grammar, defined in the comments as "upgraded" by Sigma D. M. (arguably, the in-house programming department at Sigma), some are labelled, some not, nothing can be understood about how they'd been released (single or compilation, cassette or cartridge...); moreover, there are several tags here and there, like "Compuclub", which hinder to know if that's a crack or an original one;– commercial Commodore's third party games, originally NTSC compatible or switched to NTSC, some translated some not, some look like real commercial releases (UXB (Sigma)), some...meh who knows (Carreras BMX));– type-ins from who knows which listmagazines;– educationals and utilities unrecognizable as commercial;– terrible NTSC hacks of some PAL driven European games (Starforce Nova NTSC));– native stuff coming from out of the blue, the most lovable slice!Let's spot out some notable ones! Exorcista looks like the first genuine release we've detected as a real commercial Sigma release, due to that known picture (now you can see it into the game's entry) showing its big box, a straight message to all the collectors here. Memoria (Sigma) does not show any direct Sigma's label, but reading the gameplay's description right from the back of the one seen on the Sigma Commodore Facebook page, it seems it's a perfect match! FisiCalc, pretty nice scientific tool, it's a pity that the simulation does not work, is there a working version out there? Hey you, Cesar Joel Garcia G., what did you put down here with your Túnel Galáctico, a shooter written in ML with a cinematographic ending, absolute cuteness! Pasadizo: the classic 3D maze looks quite better from behind the shoulders. Do you know which's the best part in all of this? The best part is that Juan José Vélez has just promised further stuff to be out in the near future! Nothing can make us happier! Meanwhile, here follows the complete list of contents: Halcon Galactico, Agenda Telefonica C-16 V1.1, CB, Decaimiento Radioactivo, Diagrama De Tres Ejes, FisiCalc, Formula Cuadratica, Graficador, Gráfico De Barras, Integrales, Integrales Numéricas, Triángulos, Trinomios, Melodysss, La Gran Maquina Musical, A Or An, Ajedrez, Anti-aéreo, Blackjack (Sigma), Campo De Fresones, Carreras BMX, Conecta Cuatro, Cuadro Magico, El Panel, Exorcista, Golf (Mexican), Guerra Estelar, Hangman (Sigma), Invasores, Jump Of Lady, Justa, Laberinto, POD (NTSC), GWNN (NTSC), Medial Vowels, Memoria (Sigma), Memoria De Letras, Misiles, Nave, Paracaidista, Pasadizo, Ratón, Rotación, Scramble (Sigma), Sentences, Spelling Errors, Snowy Day Nouns, Simon (Mexican), Spell-mean, Starforce Nova (NTSC), Stargo, Túnel Galáctico, UXB (Sigma), Xzap (Sigma), Veintiuno.