Feature Article

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Full-length feature articles.
Bill Loguidice's picture

Preparing the Commodore 128DCR (JiffyDOS) and Adaptec GameBridge (capture) for the Wizard's Crown Chronicles

Part of the idea behind this Wizard's Crown Chronicles odyssey was to get me to play a classic Computer Role Playing Game (CRPG) again - one of my favorite genres - and another part was to get me to make proper use of some of my collection and new technology. What this forced me to do was install JiffyDOS inside my Commodore 128DCR and get Adaptec's GameBridge working under Windows Vista (no easy task, but they came through with the goods here) so I could capture both video and still shots directly from the real hardware more easily.

And so begins more rambling and photos (the images are clickable and can be viewed full size):

Bill Loguidice's picture

Wizard's Crown Chronicles (00) - The Setup

Wizard's Crown: Apple II version (emulation)Wizard's Crown: Apple II version (emulation)(See The premise at the end of this posting for details on this ongoing feature)

Having literally dozens of boxed classic CRPGs (Computer Role Playing Games) and related software to choose from in my collection for the first Armchair Arcade Chronicle, I finally decided to go for what was generally known as one of the hardest of hardcore full Computer Role Playing Games (CRPGs), Wizard's Crown, published by SSI in 1987. Even though the Atari ST is probably the best from a visual standpoint (and adds a debatable mouse-driven interface), the C-64 version is the version I happen to have complete in the box. I've never played Wizard's Crown, but it's always been on my list.

In order to set the scene for what is to come, first some background on Wizard's Crown...

Bill Loguidice's picture

Photo of the Week - Know your History! (06 - Commodore 128DCR (C-64, C-128, CP/M) (1986))

Photo of the Week - Know your History! (06 - Commodore 128DCR (C-64, C-128, CP/M) (1986))

Welcome to the sixth of the ongoing series of exclusive photos here at Armchair Arcade from my private collection, the Commodore 128DCR from 1986.

The photo's main page.
The full-size image.

Without further ado, here are some neat facts about this week's photo (feedback welcome!):

Bill Loguidice's picture

Photo of the Week - Know your History! (05 - Commodore SX-64 Executive Computer (1984))

Welcome to the fifth of the ongoing series of exclusive photos here at Armchair Arcade from my private collection, the Commodore SX-64 Executive Computer from 1984.

The photo's main page.
The full-size image.

Without further ado, here are some neat facts about this week's photo (feedback welcome!):

Matt Barton's picture

An Interview with Chuck "Chuckles" Bueche

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Chuck "Chuckles" Bueche, a CRPG pioneer who worked closely with Richard Garriott (aka Lord British) on many of the Ultima titles, as well as design his own games 2400 A.D. and Autoduel. Bueche turned out to be an exceptionally articulate fellow, and I think you'll agree that he gave me a fantastic response.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Photo of the Week - Know your History! (04 - Spectravideo SV-328 (1983))

Welcome to the fourth of the ongoing series of exclusive photos here at Armchair Arcade from my private collection, the Spectravideo SV-328 from 1983. There are two systems pictured with a variety of accessories, all described in greater detail below.

The photo's main page.
The full-size image.

Without further ado, here are some neat facts about this week's photo (feedback welcome!):

There and Back Again: A Look at Japanese VRPGs VS American CRPGs

RPGs are one of the most beloved genres of games for hard-core console or PC gamers, yet each platform provides very different gaming
experiences. Many readers of this site might have lost their RPG cherry with a Computer Role-Playing Game (CRPG) such as Ultima or Wizardry. My experience started out with Video Game RPGs (VRPGs). This is a brief look at differences between the two mixed with nostalgic memories of playing a variety of RPGs growing up.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Photo of the Week - Know your History! (03 - VideoBrain Family Computer Model 101 (1977))

EDIT: Check out all of the VideoBrain-related topics on Armchair Arcade here - http://www.armchairarcade.com/neo/taxonomy/term/1135

Welcome to the third of the ongoing series of exclusive photos here at Armchair Arcade from my private collection, the VideoBrain Family Computer Model 101 from 1977. The system pictured has its cartridge door raised up with the Wordwise 1 ED03 cartridge inserted. The next step would be to push the cartridge door down, making it flush with the system. The button just below would raise the lid again, i.e., eject the cartridge. One of the two single button joysticks that doesn't self center is plugged in. The underbelly of the Music Teacher 1 ED01 cartridge is displayed to the left of the system. Everything else pictured should be self explanatory with this delightfully well-maintained example of this particular computer model.

The photo's main page.
The full-size image.

Without further ado, here are some neat facts about this week's photo (feedback welcome!):

Matt Barton's picture

A Conversation with Chris Taylor of Gas Powered Games

A Chat with Chris TaylorA Chat with Chris TaylorAs you've probably noticed by now, I've been doing a heck of a lot of interviewing lately trying to get some good material for "Dungeons and Desktops," my book on the history of the computer role-playing game. Anyway, it took some doing, but I finally managed to get a few questions through to Chris Taylor, the game designer responsible for Dungeon Siege and Total Annihilation. I had a great time with Dungeon Siege, and am looking forward to the chance to play the sequel. At any rate, I think you'll enjoy reading Mr. Taylor's thoughts on CRPGs.

Matt Barton's picture

Interview with David Whatley of Simutronics' Gemstone

Gemstone: Entertaining and captivating players for 20 years with no sign of slowing down!Gemstone: Entertaining and captivating players for 20 years with no sign of slowing down!I was recently given the chance to sit back with David Whatley, one of the many folks responsible for the famous GemStone online role-playing game, which got its start way back in 1988 on GEnie, one of the big commercial networks that thrived before the rise of the web. GemStone is one of the best known of the text-based online role-playing games (or, MUDs), and is still going strong today. David turned out to be extremely friendly and articulate, and I daresay you'll enjoy reading the great responses he had to my questions. If you ever wanted to learn more about the world of commercial text-based online role-playing, he's the man to talk to.

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