Amaurote 64 & 128
A downloadable game
Amaurote is a classic title that many of you would remember from ZX Spectrum or Atari 800 developed by Ste and John Pickford. The C64 version was a different looking game, not using the isometric view and roughly based on the Amaurote concept, with one of the few common factors with the original was the music by David Whittaker, which, unfortunately, did not leverage the C64's amazing music capabilities (although it is stylish and creepy).
Krzysztof Dabrowski (Brush/Elysium) visited an Atari forum in 2014 and read a thread about the Jakub Husak accelerating the game for the Atari 8-bit platforms and became intrigued in a potential C64 rendition that was faithful to the original execution. After years of on-off development, team Elysium made a breakthrough in 2022 by finally addressing all of the remaining bugs of the C64 edition.
Not only was the game complete for the stock breadbin, in addition, this version also utilises the Commodore 128 (in C64 mode), the game uses the 2MHz mode of the processor (off-screen), which provides a 30% increase in-game speed. Not only that, a special speed-up version of the game was also crafted: Amaurote for the SCPU, Turbo Chameleon and Ultimate64 accelerators - all in 20mhz mode. Just make sure you answer “yes” in the trainer menu.
Enhancing the game presentation even further, Michał Hoffmann (Randall/Elysium/MSL) was employed to deliver a new C64 soundtrack, reminiscent of the original, utilising the power of the SID. Additionally, James Svärd (Joe/Wrath Designs) crafted a beautiful title picture to complete the game's 2022 rendition. As a cherry on top Cal Skuthorpe (Buzz Clik/Onslaught) created a superb dir-art.
And finally Maciej Witkowiak (YTM/Elysium) created a special, native C128 version. running in VIC (40 columns) and VDC (80 columns) mode. They both use special features of c128 like the extra memory, flexible zero-page mapping and 2mhz mode to achieve far superior performance than c64 version. Just make sure you boot into the full C128 mode before starting the game.
This game is free to download and play. If you like it, please consider donating money to the humanitarian assistance to Ukrainie
It was initially released on Zzap! 64 Micro Action issue 7 covermount.
This game is distributed as an .d64 image. Use it to create a c64 disk or play in the emulator of your choice. It was tested on Vice 3.6.1 (c64, c128 in c64 mode and SCPU versions). Commodore 128 version can be played using Vice or Z64K with the latter offering a better emulation in most of the cases.
There are also separate images for the C128 versions (VDC and VIC)
- A short story of C128 portsMay 29, 2022
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Marvellous achievement guys!
At this point, Plus/4 version now or it never happened :D
Do you want to help?
Within my own (limited) skills, why not? :)
I don't think a Plus/4 port would be very attractive. Sure, the Plus/4 has a slightly more computer power than the C64, but no acceleration possibilities like running the game on a SuperCPU, Ultimate64, Turbo Chameleon or Mega65. Therefore you would experience the lower playability of a bare unexpanded C64 on the Plus/4, just a little bit smoother, but no way the smooth gameplay of the C128 or C64 accelerators. That "just a little bit smoother" would need to be balanced against the terrible sound capabilities of the Plus/4... end result might be a worse experience than an bare unexpanded C64.
Plus/4 ports are IMO attractive if you can take advantage of the high colour count of the TED, but for a monochrome game like this one...
Well, none of us is a plus/4 user so i guess we won't comment on what plus/4 users want/like/need. But if anybody is interested in drivint he port forward - please get in touch with me. it shouldn't be very complicated. And if one wants to enhance the gfx - feel free. Although memory might be an issue.
After thinking a bit more about it: If I would port it, I would target a cartridge. The TED architecture allows mapping 32KB of cartridge ROM and built-in bankswitching with 2 banks. This means that the speedcode that the C128 version uses, can move to cartridge ROM and be executed directly from ROM.
The combination of speedcode and slightly higher CPU speed (compared to C64) may make the speed acceptable, allthough the Plus/4 still lacks the MMU tricks that you can do on the C128.
Choosing for a cartridge also allows solving the sound problem: The Plus/4 allows sound input from cartridge, so you could add sound capability to the cartridge. Perhaps a low-cost SwinSID or so, C64 users would look down on a SwinSID, but for a Plus/4 game it would be a game changer.
Here a decent gameplay video. I used the C128 4 MHz turbo speed mode on MiSTer FPGA. Pure awesomeness!
But I would suggest to upload a simple manual here. When I played the game for the first time shortly after release, I had no idea about the very important Space and Run/Stop keys. I still don't know how to get into the game credits and manual (your third screenshot here).
Thanks for the video and for your feedback. There are 2 files on the .d64 image. First one is the game, 2nd one ("AMAUROTE README") is the note with manual, story and credits. I hope it'll make things easier for those who couldn't find it.
So awesome. Congrats to all involved.
Wow! Brilliant! Thanks a lot!
You should also credit the original authors of the game, the Pickford Brothers. They are flattered though https://twitter.com/stepickford/status/1510198707077189639
Of course they are credited. Just run the actual game :) They are there in the full glory as an authors (code & gfx). And i was in touch with Ste. But thank you for being vigilant :)
Pls keep original Whittaker music, maybe to make a choice! Adding an animated intro from the ZX Spectrum 128 version is also not a bad idea.
Otherwise, thank you for superb work, this looks really great!
I'm not sure if i still have stamina to improve it. Maybe if the game develops a cult following :) Whittaker's music has it's merits. But it does not sound c64'ish and eats a lot of rastertime. + i love @randal-richards score :) But a cracking group is welcomed to release a "modded version" ;)
I could try to convert that whittaker's music into some low-rastertime tracker (ninja tracker or so), but I also care a lot about time and enthusiasm. Otherwise, of course, the music is almost the same as at ZX Spectrum AY, but I really like it :)
Fantastic! The title screen palette is mesmerizing!
B&W?? Wow, this is actually horrible.
I do like the title pic, but lol wth man.. I feel like playing one of those awful speccy ports. Nononono. Nope, not for me
Any chance you could upload a SID file of the soundtrack?