This is a de debunk of the debunk on

Of course, MSX2, as well as MSX V1 is capable of creating programs with graphics and sprites quite simplly, such as the following.

VDIFF6aFirst screenful of what was too “VERY difficult” on the Commodore 64

VDIFF6bSecond screenful of what was too “VERY difficult” on the Commodore 64

I should point out that in MSX BASIC V1.0 it’s possible to write almost the identical program, but with a few small changes. There are only a couple of things that make it different from MSX BASIC V1.0. These are that in line 10 SCREEN 4,1 would have to be SCREEN 2,1 (a display mode with colour bleed, depending on where hires graphics of different colours are drawn) SET BEEP 3 which sets the sound for a standard BEEP would have to be deleted, and the whole of line 20, which changes the actual colour of the logical colour 5, would have to be deleted.

This is a demo of the very thing which made me give up trying to program on the Commodore 64. In other words, it’s two sprites colliding, then bouncing off each other in different directions. The C64 group leader of my computer club told me “Oh, that would be VERY difficult!” He was much older than me, very experienced and I thought he may have been using computers for years before the home computer boom.

Here’s a video of this demo.

I’d love to see a program in C64 BASIC V2 with an accompanying video from TMR or any C64 fanatic showing the same thing being done. I doubt they’ll do one. I think this proves conclusively that the Commodore 64 is crap!!

Moving on from this simple building block of games programming, we would do a flowchart about exactly what was supposed to happen in the game, design some more detailed sprites, add keyboard control with STICK(0) and STRIG(0) and joystick control with STICK(1) and STRIG(1).

TMR wrote…

There were Amstrad CPC fans who were satisfied with the same “blocky” resolution for their games from that era and Atari 8-bit users who were happy to live with the even coarser 4:1 ratio pixels their GTIA-specific modes required[1]; the “Commodore propaganda” is just in the author’s mind since it seems to extend to other, non-Commodore platforms.
And we do also need to remember that the MSX2 was released in 1985, the same year that the original Atari ST and Commodore Amiga were released, so the idea that a machine put out three years after the C64 has better graphics shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody who isn’t terminally stupid. But at the same time

In the cases of the Amstrad CPC and the Atari 8 bit, at least those computers had dialects of BASIC which supported their hardware and they were both more colourful than the Commodore 64. The Amstrad CPC MODE 0 was 160×200 with 16 colours, but these colours were from a palette of 27 colours, instead of just 16, and not only that, but each of the 16 colours could appear anywhere on the screen, not limited to 4 colours per 8×8 character cell, unlike the C64! As for Atari 8 bit display modes, there are so many of them that it’s hard to remember what they all are, but I’ll never forget that Atari computers can use Display Lists to generate a different mode on each line of the display, and have a 128 or 256 colour palette, totally outclassing the C64. You can view a list of the official Atari display modes on . Of course, MSX2 was released in 1985, following on and maintaining compatibility with the original MSX, released less than a year after the C64. The fact that an 8 bit Z80 based computer could display graphics better than the Atari ST and nearly as good as the Amiga was astounding! There was also the fact that there was such a thing as an MSX2 upgrade cartridge, as well as some MSX users upgrading their computers to the MSX2 standard by fitting the Yamaha 9938 graphics chip, a RAM upgrade, and an MSX2 sub ROM. There was no such upgrade available from Commodore for the C64.

TMR wrote…

The author has yet to use the software or hardware in question so cannot “practically guarantee” anything at all at this point. Putting the MSX2 with expansion hardware up against just a standard C64 would just be an almost childlike, pointless comparison that wastes the time of the author’s readers even further than usual and the author’s lack of experience with C64 music software means he can’t fairly judge that in comparison either”.

The sound and music hardware and software in question is similar to my old CX5M computer, so I already know what to expect. Apart from this, it has more software available than for the CX5M sound module. Another factor is that the FM PAC is a standard, supported sound upgrade for MSX computers.

TMR wrote…

No, that’s an outright lie on the author’s part since your correspondent has never made any such claim. Your correspondent’s view on flowcharts is that, once a certain level of complexity is reached, they are pretty much useless unless reduced to a level of simplicity that doesn’t help things along.
And just because something appears in print it isn’t a universal truth; if that were the case there wouldn’t be even a peep about the A-Z of Personal Computers from the author and, since Steven Levy’s book Hackers has a similar “revelation” that none of the programmers at seminal Apple II and Atari 8-bit software company Online Systems used flowcharts, we’d have a ridiculously large paradox

We’re talking here about TMR’s obsessive hatred of flowcharts to plan programs. Rodnay Zaks, the master of Assembly Language/Machine Code on several processors, has said this is wrong, so he should know. The fact that none of the programmers at one particular software house used flowcharts doesn’t prove anything.

TMR wrote…

We need to pause in order to appreciate the scale of the author’s hypocrisy here dear reader; in a comment on his blog that we’ll be dealing with in the next post the author has recently reiterated his belief that “people were supposed to learn how to do everything they could in BASIC, before learning how to do the same things in Assembler/Machine Code” but the programming course he’s essentially endorsing to his readers in the quoted paragraph is for beginners but starts with Z80 assembly language.
We’ll have to see if the author either apologises to his readers for previously misleading them about the actual importance of BASIC to beginners or renounces the Electric Adventures programming course for not teaching BASIC first

The Electric Adventures programming course on YouTube has got off to a very slow start. I’m still not sure how they’ll teach programming. In the first two episodes, all Tony Cruise has done is install and demonstrate the use of a sprite editor and an MSX emulator, both running on Windows. He claimed this was to make things as easy as possible. He said that even using graph paper and working out bit values would be too difficult for some people. He mentioned that he was planning to make the same game first on MSX, and Spectravideo computers, as well as the Colecovision games console, all using the Z80 CPU, and TI99XX video chip, before moving on to the Sinclair Spectrum and Amstrad CPC computers. It remains to be seen how he’s going to do this. Finally, he plans to make the same game for the Atari 8 bit and even the C64!

TMR wrote…

There’s no need for anyone try of course, because Metal Gear was released on the C64 in 1990. We have previously mentioned the author’s poor research, but now seems to be a good time to reiterate that”.

Of course, it doersn’t matter that Metal Gear was eventually released on the C64. All that matters is that this was using its by then roughly seven year old VIC-II graphics chip, in the usual blocky 160×200 mode with only 4 colours in each 8×8 character cell. A quick search online reveals something that doesn’t even look like the same game. Here’s a video comparing Metal Gear on MSX2, NES, C64, and PS2. I rest my case!

Finally, here’s a review pointing out just how crappy Metal Gear was on the C64!


Posted February 15, 2015 by C64hater in Uncategorized


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  1. Pingback: The author waffles about MSX – part 3 | Commodore 64 Crap Debunk

  2. So your girlfriend dumped you for a C64 or what? Do you really believe it’s “very difficult” to make two sprites bounce off of each other on the C64? That’s some funny stuff right there! I think your group leader meant it would be difficult to calculate the exact ANGLE of the bounce based on the edges of the sprite, to get a realistic bounce. Simply detecting collision and making them bounce apart (reversing X or Y) is NOT difficult AT ALL! Sheesh!

    • Your email address starts off with vic20owner@ , so that says it all. You probably first learnt to program on a Commodore VIC-20. According to my extensive research, the VIC-20 has the same version of BASIC built in as the Commodore 64, meaning Commodore BASIC V2.0. This means that it has no BASIC commands for colour, graphics, or sound either, but this was on simpler hardware than the C64, so that people had less addresses to PEEK and POKE. I don’t think that many people would have bought a VIC-20 if they’d been warned about this in advance, though. According to the book of fairy tales called “The A-Z of Personal Computers” the languages included with the VIC-20 were “Basic”, not even “Commodore BASIC”, “PET BASIC”, or “MS BASIC (1977 version)” so this gave people no warning about the nightmare they were in for trying to learn how to program this computer. Your delusion about how detecting two sprites colliding on the C64, then making them bounce off each other in Commodore BASIC V2.0 is “not difficult at all” must be due to you learning how to do something similar on the VIC-20, but which was less complicated than on the C64. Tony Cruise of and the Electric Adventures channel on YouTube had a lucky escape from the VIC-20 in Australia. I remember reading somewhere that he had the chance to see or even use a Commodore PET and he thought its version of BASIC was OK for that computer. He was slightly impressed by the VIC-20 and was considering buying one, but then he couldn’t believe it when he found out that the BASIC hadn’t been upgraded from the Commodore PET version, so then he bought a Spectravideo SVI318 or SVI328, because he wanted a computer which he could program, not just play games on. Perhaps this warning was in an Australian magazine. I made it clear to my C64 group leader what I wanted him to do. All he did was get the C64 to display numbers in the top left hand corner of the default text screen, which he said indicated when the two sprites collided. I wanted something to actually HAPPEN, even getting the sprites to stop at that point. If, as you say “Simply detecting collision and making them bounce apart (reversing X or Y) is NOT difficult AT ALL!” then I demand that you post another comment here, including a BASIC listing complete with lots of REM statements, showing how this is done. If you refuse, then that proves it’s not easy at all. If you agree, then everyone will see just how difficult it is. I want you to base this on the short Commodore hot air balloon listing in the C64 manual. YOU MUST COMPLY. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!

      • Non sequitur. Being VIC20 onwer means only that we owns one. I am also VIC20 owner. I have never turned it on. And I state that what he said about bouncing and detection is true (it is really easy). I woud give you a fishing rod but I won’t give you a fish (a listing).

  3. Why do you own a VIC-20 but you’ve never turned it on? Perhaps because you’ve heard it causes brain damage. As for your comment about giving me a fishing rod, but not a fish, that’s a nasty Thatcherite/Reaganomic/neoliberal saying. I was struggling for several months as a C64 owner studying everything I could about programming its crappy BASIC, until I found out it was crap, that it didn’t have to be crap, and why it was crap. I’m not going to attempt to program this now. Drawing a line across the screen was bad enough! After giving up on the C64, I was thinking of selling it through a monthly Commodore specialist magazine, but it would’ve taken months for the ad to appear, so then I tried advertising it on a supermarket noticeboard and got one offer of only £90. After this, a new regular magazine to sell things in came out, so I bought it to find out how to do this. There were lots of different types of ads in there. I sold my C64 through that magazine after a few weeks, but by that time I was hooked on other sections of the magazine. I started advertising in other sections of this magazine, which were social instead of buying and selling. Later on, I got a lot of anonymous phone calls and other abuse. This is all Jack Tramiel’s, Sam Tramiel’s and Leonard Tramiel’s faults as well, because if Jack Tramiel hadn’t put a crappy BASIC in the C64, and his sons Sam and Leonard hadn’t worked with him, then I may never have bought that magazine, so then I wouldn’t have got all the anonymous phone calls and other abuse!

  4. A moron with a blog is still a moron. No matter how many people tell him otherwise, the owner of this blog will continue to spout rubbish until the day he dies. Judging by the content of some of his other posts, he’ll probably tell us that CBM was in fact set up and owned by aliens, with the aim of inflicting brain damage on the human race, prior to an invasion. This, the author will no doubt claim, was stopped by a combination of the Doctor and his Tardis, whilst Blake’s 7 and the Liberator vaporised the alien fleet! Sometimes the mind boggles.

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