March 13 2019 Seattle Commodore Computer Club Meet #10, Notes

Quick update on the awesome meet we had March 13, 2019.

We had a ton of hardware on hand this time.

Matt brought his recently refurbished and 100% awesome X68000 Japanese computer to wow everyone. The machine was essentially an arcade board dropped into a tower, and had a repertoire of arcade conversions that put most computers and consoles of the time to shame. The number of sprites it could handle and fluidity of animation was jaw-dropping. Games like R-type or Galaga88 or Xevious – they looked perfect.

Matt demoing one of the many arcade-accurate games on his super slick X68000 (10Mhz stock).
The video capabilities of the X68000 give the Amiga a serious run for the money. In all honesty, at times it seemed rather superior in some ways, which surprised me. Seeing is believing.

Matt also brought my new Vectrex! I owned one of these back in the day, but foolishly traded it to a friend for his Colecovision after the company went out of business and games stopped being produced. Now, nearly 35 years later I have one in my possession again. I can say it made the hair on my arms rise up, and put a small lump in my throat. Many wanted a chance to play it, and as usual, everyone remarked on how awesome the visuals are.

Christian giving Minestorm a go with the Scramble overlay. We fired it up again after the sun went down, flicked off the lights, and the laser light show truly began!

We also had the MK2 Reloaded with Mechboard on hand for everyone to see what typing can actually feel like on a C64 when you have a cadillac keyboard under the hood instead of a Pinto. Many eyebrows were raised indeed.

Dan tried out typing on the Mechboard and was impressed. “I could actually code on this thing.”

Coupled with the MK2 Reloaded was the LED-enchanced cartridge of L’Abbaye des Morts – one of my favorite C64 games in the past year.

Some asked what the name of the game meant, as I knew it was loosely based on some sort of true story with a dark twist. I found this to help explain the premise:

In the 13th century, the Cathars, clerics who preached about the poverty of Christ and defended life without material aspirations, were treated as heretics by the Catholic Church and expelled out of the Languedoc region in France. One of them, called Jean Raymond, found an old church in which to hide from crusaders, not knowing that beneath its ruins lay buried an ancient evil.

We also played Tenebra Macabre, the new visually gorgeous (difficult but fun) game that weighs in at a shockingly low 16KB. Just gorgeous effects and gameplay.

Ron’s wife was so kind – she baked us beautifully decorated Commodore C= cupcakes (and they were delicious!). Ron – please let her know we are all so grateful!

Lucas and his girlfriend, Katie, joined us for the first time from Camano Island, and he brought his excellent Sony PVM 14″ CRT montor for us to hook things into.

And Christian and Ivan continued work on Ivan’s machines. The A500 sprang back to life! And signs of legitimate progress on the 3000 are being made. Christian was able to show the video outputs from Agnus were indeed working in both PAL and NTSC mode. In the future the traces will need to be checked to see if/where there might be a failure. Getting so close!

What a great night of fun and friends.

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