Commando is a port of the Capcom arcade of the same name. You play as the titular commando and must destroy the enemy army. The game plays as a vertical shooter, though the player has control of the character's movement.
The C64 port always reviewed well, but also far too easy and glitchy. Elite rushed the game, probably because the competing Who Dares Wins (C64) came out. Also, since the programmer did not understand compression, he could only put four levels in, the third of which he was told to delete to make room for the music.
For the German market, the C64 version was renamed to Space Invasion and characters changed, probably so it would not be considered harmful to minors and therefore harder to sell legally. However, both Commando and Space Invasion ended up "banned in Germany" (as this is called) in 1987 and 1988, respectively.
Commando sports one of the best known soundtracks on the Commodore 64. Even though there's only four songs in the entire, many have praised the soundtrack by Rob Hubbard. It is voted 5th favorite top SID by HVSC Crew and SID fans.
According to Hubbard, he was hired by the owner of Elite, Steve Wilcox, to create the game's audio. The two went out to a pub and then Wilcox left a 30-yard-old Hubbard in the office around 10 PM to create all the game's audio. While he chose not to adapt Tamayo Kawamoto's arcade score, he did borrow the motifs from it. Hubbard also said to create the music, he would first write the music in score paper, with hexadecimal representations of the notes above, so he could easily input it into his sound driver in Mikro Assembler.
Furthermore, Hubbard delivered 16 sound effects, only 8 of which are used. As usual for his driver at the time, each sound effect consists of two channels which temporarily mutes the melodies, leaving only bass and drums.
Around 5 AM, Hubbard had completed working on all audio in the game and left the office. He also ran the song on all the computers in the office so everyone could hear his music. In this video, Hubbard explains working on the game's soundtrack.
Hubbard's score was adapted to the Amstrad CPC version as well.
Due to a bug in Hubbard's driver, the first bass note after loading is muted. This has not been recorded.
|101||Tape Loader||Trans-X||Mark Cooksey||2:22||Download|
|102||Game Tune||Tamayo Kawamoto, Rob Hubbard||Rob Hubbard||8:01||Download|
|103||Hiscore||Rob Hubbard||Rob Hubbard||2:13||Download|
|104||Jingle||Rob Hubbard||Rob Hubbard||0:05||Download|
|202||Game Tune||Tamayo Kawamoto, Rob Hubbard||Rob Hubbard||6:44||Download|
|203||Hiscore||Rob Hubbard||Rob Hubbard||1:52||Download|
|204||Jingle||Rob Hubbard||Rob Hubbard||0:04||Download|
(Source for Hubbard's track names: His demo.)
- Ripper: HVSC
- Recorder: Doommaster1994 (tracks 102 and 103), M1911 (tracks 101 and 104), Professor Chaos (tracks 202–204)
- Game Credits:
(Source for Sound: European title screen. American game does not have audio credits. Source for programmer: Code comparison. Source for Kawamoto: Commando (ARC). Source for Tape Loader: Frank Bruno's Boxing (C64).)
This game uses the computer's built-in SID chip and sounds the same on every one of them.
The European disk version and Space Invasion have two display bugs: one concerning more than 9 lives, and one concerning the vehicles at the beginning of level 2.
- mobygames.com/game/c64/commando - MobyGames.
- gamefaqs.gamespot.com/c64/569370-commando - GameFAQs.
- csdb.dk/release/?id=214745 - Hubbard's demo.