Commodore 64 Resources

News March 2011: Added another 241 character sets and 225 new images totalling in 1300 original resources!

Back in 1986, my first computer was a Commodore 64 (C64) from Commodore Business Machines. Well today nobody would call it a 'computer'. It just featured an 8bit CPU running below 1Mhz, 64kB RAM and a 320x200 display with 16 colours. Nevertheless it was a great thing and I liked it a lot and still like it. I am glad that there are so many sites about it. And there are quite some good emulators available, which simulate the C64's original behavior, e.g. VICE, the Versatile Commodore 8bit Emulator. (There is even an emulator for Android.) To contribute to the C64 community I put up these pages. Here you will find original artwork like C64 character sets, C64 images and C64 sprites as well as some of my own creations. The graphical resources presented here are just a fraction of the vast amount, which was available for the C64 in the late 80ies. If you have some images or character sets as original C64 data, email me.

Demos and Games

Soon after I got my hands on my own C64, I started coding. From 1988 to 1990 I created several demos. The best ones are provided for download (220 KB) in two virtual disc images suitable for emulators. (To transfer and create the virtual disc images I used Star Commander, a great tool which is worth mentioning.) Further I developed three small text adventures, the "Mini Adventures". The name was given due to their small size. The second and third game featured little images using a second character-set (128x64 pixels) and sprites in the lower border (48x42 pixels). All three games are available to download as a virtual disk image (60 KB).

Character Sets

[Commodore 64 default character set for capital letters]   [Commodore 64 default character set for small letters]
Commodore 64 default character sets

Letters were rendered onto the screen according to a character set or charset. C64 charsets are bitmap charsets featuring 256 characters 8x8 pixel each. The default charsets are shown above. The C64 character set gallery contains 615 user defined charsets drawn by various people, taken from demos, games etc. Some of them were and maybe still are copyrighted. Some sets are designed to have double wide letters, i.e. using 2 characters on screen displaying just one letter (denoted by 'X' after the name), double high ('Y') or double size ('Xy'). Some are intended for multi-colour mode ('Multi'). To download an individual charset from the gallery click on its preview image or download all of them (390 KB) at once.

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 20 - 21 - 22 - 23

Unfortunately I do not know a method to convert all these nice bitmap charsets to Windows TTF, FON or other commonly known font formats. I searched the web for long, but did not find any free tools which were able to perform the conversion in batch mode. If you know a way to do that, please email me. At least I found the default character sets, containing CBM-64 fonts from 20, 40 and 80 column mode as Windows TrueType/TTF (80 KB) or Windows Bitmap/FON fonts (thanks to Jan). Beej prepared some simple bitmap fonts for X11 and Riku rendered them in HTML.

Images

C64 full-size graphics were 320x200 pixels with at most 16 colours. There were a lot of cool pictures around. The C64 image gallery contains 625 original images from various demos and games (of which some may still be copyrighted). The gallery contains preview images. Click on a preview to view the full-sized picture or download all of them (3600 KB). Note that the images seem distorted/skewed because 320x200 images have an aspect ratio of 0.82 instead of 1.0, like 640x480 or 800x600. To avoid this you would have to view them in 320x200 (VGA) full-screen mode.

1 [10-ar] -  2 [ar-bo] - 3 [br-co] -  4 [co-de] - 5 [de-dr] -  6 [dr-fl] - 7 [fl-gi] -  8 [gi-gu] - 9 [gu-ik]
10 [in-jo]  - 11 [jo-ki] - 12 [ki-li]  - 13 [li-ma] - 14 [ma-mo]  - 15 [mo-pa] - 16 [pa-pi]  - 17 [pi-ra]
18 [ra-rs]  - 19 [rs-si]  - 20 [si-st]  - 21 [st-ta]  - 22 [te-th]  - 23 [th-tr]  - 24 [tr-wh]  - 25 [wh-yi] 

For an even larger archive of full-size graphics see the Commodore 64 Pixel Art Gallery which contains more than 1200 pictures from 1983 up to today.

Sprites

The C64's video chip supported up to 8 independent graphics icons, called sprites. Sprites were 24x21 pixel bitmaps with at most 3 colours out of 16. The bitmaps were cycled to animate a sprite. Sprites were used for moving components like monsters or bullets. The C64 sprite gallery contains more than 50 original, animated sprites from various games (of which some may still be copyrighted...). A Java Applet is used to display and animate each sprite. To download the sprite's data click on the Applet or download all sprites in a zip file (68 KB). Note that the sprites are in exactly the same format they had on C64, I did no conversions of the data at all. As far as I know there is no graphics programs able to open them.

1 [G.I. Joe - Enemy Units] - 2 [G.I. Joe - Friendly Units] - 3 [a-m] - 4 [m-t] - 5 [t-z, letters]

Music

The original tunes from the C64 are known as SID music. There is no other place to search for SID music as the High Voltage SID Collection, which contains more than 41000 SID tunes. To play these tunes you need a special player, some kind of mini emulator, e.g. SidPlay or Sid-Player (Android). For MP3 remixes visit remix.kwed.org. There is even a C64 remix radio station Slay Radio.

Retro 2010

Recently I'm feeling "retro". After reading the chapter about BASIC in the book Masterminds of Programming I played around with a Scala implementation of BASIC v2. Later I even did the Prime Factors Code Kata in the emulator. Quite some fun ;-)