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Why is the C64 so hard to use/emulate?

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Seriously it seems like every other game I try to play in either vice or ccs64 won't move past the menu. Two examples off the top of my head are Xain'd Sleena and Black Tiger. I've pressed every key on my keyboard and nothing happens. Is there something I'm missing?

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Yes, and sometimes you would need to configure two joysticks or swap ports.

 

Yes- The joystick swapping thing is a big culprit here. If a game won't respond, try this.

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It works!, but I still wish there had been a more standard way of starting games. It seems like everyone did something different.

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Yeah, this was a thing.

 

My usual rotation is

On the crack screen (if there is one):

Press Joy #1 Button

Press Space

Press RunStop

 

On the Game Screen

Press Joy #1 Button

Press Space

Press Joy #2 Button (In Vice it is easy to swap because you can just press Alt+J)

Press the F# keys in order

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I think some of the issues origin from the way Commodore layouted and named the control ports.

 

Control port #1 is the one farthest from the power button and is mapped in memory at 56321. However its pins are combined with keyboard input, which can make it harder to use.

 

Control port #2 is the one closest to the power button and is mapped in memory at 56320. It is mostly free of conflicts with other input and thus easier to use.

 

Some game publishers may have thought it made sense that port #1 is the one to use primarily, despite it is harder to program for. OTher publishers may have not bothered, and preferred less issues so their games were primarily controlled through port #2.

 

If Commodore simply have labeled the ports on the outside so the one closest to the power button was #1, or even rerouted the circuit board (or changed the inputs of the CIA 6526 chip), they could have had port #1 to be free of conflicts and probably more standardized to use.

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The C64 can be a hard system to get into if you have no understanding of the original hardware. If you're accustomed to loading games from tape, disk or cartridge and swapping joystick ports, you'll know what to expect from an emulation of the system. If you're not, you'll have a much harder time learning everything in theory.

 

If you think the C64 is hard to understand without the real hardware, wait until you try the Amiga.

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