Tutorial of the Commodore 64 Vice Emulator
This is a quick and simple tutorial that shows step by step how to use the Vice Commodore 64 emulator in order to play all your favorite Commodore 64 classic games.
1. After uncompressing the the Vice emulator, all the files you need will be inside the WinVICE-x.x folder (i.e. WinVICE-2.1)
2. To run the Commodore 64 emulator just click on the x64.exe icon. It is one of those with the Commodore logo. The Vice emulation system also includes emulators for the Commodore 128, Vic-20 and other Commodore systems. However in our case we will focus on the Commodore 64 as all we want to do is play C64 games.
3. Once the Commodore 64 emulator is running a small typical blue Commodore 64 screen will open. In order to enlarge the screen go to the Options menu and select the Double Size option.
4. Now you have to configure the Joystick settings in order to emulate with the PC keyboard the C64 joystick. To do that open the Settings menu and select the Joystick settings... option. A pop up configuration window will open.
5. In the Joystick settings window you can configure two keysets, one that emulates the first joystick and the other one for a second joystick if you want to play with other player simultaneously. Press the Config Keyset A button and a second popup window will open in which you must establish the key that represents each of the movement directions. For instance press the South West button and then press the key that will move your sprites to the South West direction. Then do the same with the South button and so on until you reach the Fire button option. Now you must assign the Keysets to each one of the two ports; to do that select the menu option of each Joystick port. For example if you want to assign the Keyset A to the joystick port #1 choose the Keyset A option in the Joystick in port #1 menu. If you are going to play alone there is no need to set up the two keysets. But remember there are games that use port #1 and other games that use port #2, so if you see that when pressing the fire key nothing happens and the game doesn't start, just go back to the Joystick settings... menu and change the Keyset to its corresponding Joystick port. Once all the directions and the fire button are configured according tou your preferences, click on the OK button.
6. Once the Keyset A is configured do the same with the Keyset B, assigning other keys. Remember Keyset's B keys must be different from those of the Keyset A, in order to avoid conflicts between them.
7. If you want to play with a game pad or a Joystick instead of configuring the Keysets to play with the PC keyboard; you must click on the Calibrate Joystick(s) button.
8. Now we are ready to play the games. There are two kind of Commodore 64 game files; ".D64" Disk Files and ".T64" Datasette Files. Most of the emulated C64 games come in .D64 disk format.
9.To run a Disk File game you have to open the File menu and select the Attach disk image option; a submenu will open in which you must select the Drive 8 option. After that a files manager console will open (remember the same task can be performed by pressing Alt+8). You have to select the game image of your preference, say for instance you want to play Ghostbusters, so all you have to do is select the Ghostbusters.d64 image file and in the rectangle with the caption "Image Contents" all the image contentes will appear. You must click on those with the PRG extension. For example in the case of Ghostbusters we have the following list of contents.
128 "GHOSTBUSTERS" PRG
536 BLOCKS FEE.
In this case you must select the first line; double click on it or press the Attach button.
After that the game will start loading on the Commodore 64 BASIC Blue screen. You have two options; you can wait as in the old times to run the game; or if you want to play it as soon as possible you can make use of a little 21st century help by accelerating the game and the loading times. To accelerate the game you have to open the Options menu select the Maximum Speed option which will open a submenu with different speed percentages. 100% means normal speed in case you want to double the loading speed you must select 200%; if that is too slow for you and you want to play the game as soon as possible, select the No limit option. But remember once the game has loaded you will have to slow it down to its normal rate (100%) in order to play it.
10. In case you want to play a Datasette game, instead of selecting the Attach disk image option, you must select the Attach tape image option. Once selected the files manager console will pop up, showing the image files. Say for instance you want to play Rupert and the Ice Castle. That game is included inside a .T64 tape image file named COLLMTH.T64. Once selected in the Image contents rectangle the following lines will appear.
201 "RUPERT ICE PAL" PRG
175 "RUPERT TOY PARTY" PRG
The are two game in this tape image file, in this case since you want to play Rupert and the Ice Castle, you must choose the first line and double click on it or press the Attach button.
11. Now that you loaded the game, perhaps you wish to play it in Fullscreen mode, to do that, just go to the Options menu and choose the Fullscreen option. To toggle between fullscreen and window mode press Alt-D.
12. Now that you are playing, if you don't like the sounds quality, you can change the sounds preferences going to the SID settings... option of the Settings menu. SID is the sound chip of the Commodore systems. You can choose between the 6581 (the sound chip included in Commodore 64 computers) and the 8580 (the sound chip included in the Commodore 64C and Commodore 128 systems) among other options.
Well that's all with all the above you will be able to play all your favorite Commodore 64 games using the Vice emulator in your modern PC.
If you have any questions or comments, please add your comments below.