Commando (C64)

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Commando
Commando - C64 - USA.jpg
Platform: Commodore 64
Year: 1985
Developer: Elite

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.

Screenshots

Commando - C64 - Loading.png

The tape loader.

Commando - C64 - Credits.png

The European title screen.

Commando - C64 - 1st Area.png

1st area.

Commando - C64 - Items.png

Items.

Commando - C64 - 2nd Area.png

2nd area.

Commando - C64 - Hiscore.png

Classic.

Music

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.

Recording

Due to a bug in Hubbard's driver, the first bass note after loading is muted. This has not been recorded.

# Title ComposerArranger Length Listen Download
101 Tape Loader Trans-XMark Cooksey 2:22
Download
102 Game Tune Tamayo Kawamoto, Rob HubbardRob Hubbard 8:01
Download
103 Hiscore Rob HubbardRob Hubbard 2:13
Download
104 Jingle Rob HubbardRob Hubbard 0:05
Download
# Title ComposerArranger Length Listen Download
202 Game Tune Tamayo Kawamoto, Rob HubbardRob Hubbard 6:44
Download
203 Hiscore Rob HubbardRob Hubbard 1:52
Download
204 Jingle Rob HubbardRob Hubbard 0:04
Download

(Source for Hubbard's track names: His demo.)

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).)

Game Rip

Format

Download

SID.png

Download

(Info)


Audio Devices

This game uses the computer's built-in SID chip and sounds the same on every one of them.

On NTSC C64s, everything is 4% higher (tuning all music at 457 Hz) and 19% faster (22% on old NTSC).

Releases

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.

  EU.svg   EU
Commando - C64 - EU.jpg
Title: Commando
Platform: Commodore 64 Disc
Released: 1985-1?-??
Publisher: Elite
  Germany.svg   Germany
Space Invasion - C64 - Tape.jpg
Title: Space Invasion
Platform: Commodore 64
Released: 1985-1?-??
Publisher: Elite
  USA.svg   USA
Commando - C64 - USA.jpg
Title: Commando
Platform: Commodore 64™/128™
Released: 1986-??-??
Publisher: Data East Corporation

Links

Template:Series - Commando