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Mini-Howto for flipping disk / multidisk / swap disks with C64 emulators

  • Since flipping C64 disks is a constant issue in this forum (see here, here or here for example) I will post my strategy for this.

    1. Check if you can find a "cartridgized" (*.crt) version of the game. Checking the commodore scene in Denmark can be a starting point.

    2. Look for a optimized version of the game, some vendors artifically bloated the games to two disks. Again check the commodore scene.

    3. Stuff each *.D64 from a multidisk game into a larger CBM disk format (e.g. D71/D81/D82).

      • Use DirMaster for example to achieve this

      • Or automate the boring stuff with Python like here
        With this technique I was able to get these games running for example:
        Aussie Games
        California Games
        Caveman Ugh-Lympics
        Combat School
        Impossible Mission II
        Last Ninja 2: Back with a Vengeance
        Last Ninja 3
        Operation Thunderbolt
        Skate or Die
        Winter Challenge
        Winter Games
        Winter Supersports 92
        Wonderboy in Monsterland
        World Class Leaderboard
        World Games

        Note: When you deploy the D71/D81/D82 disks make sure to add the extensions in es_systems.cfg. Make a copy from /etc/emulationstation/es_systems.cfg to /opt/retropie/configs/all/emulationstation so your changes will survive a system update. Add the extensions in the C64 section in your copy.

    4. Not really a solution for me: Flipping disks in lr-vice or vice. I found some possibilities but they where to cumbersome for smooth gameplay.

    So what is your strategy/solution?
    Which multidisk games have you put in a single D71/D81/D82 and they worked?
    Have you found a elegant way to swap disks in lr-vice/vice?

  • @Lolonois Thanks for this guide. This is handy. I'll try converting some games like Conan: Halls of Volta and see whether I can get .d81 files to work with standalone Vice on my rpi3B.

    I generally try to find already existing Easyflash/cartridge releases of games that have multiple disks. There are now a ton of these converted multi-disk games on the web.

    It is possible to convert single .prg games to Easyflash without the Easyflash menu popping up, so I quite often use that method when I want to avoid long loading times.

    The other thing I sometimes do, using a bit of jiggery pokery, is to convert single .d64 or .t64 files to cartridge using Retro Replay or one of the other such cartridges (ie basically taking a snapshot of the game at the title screen). This works quite well with single load (non recurrent disk accessing) games like Paradroid and Dropzone, I've found. Dropzone becomes more like the arcade game it is.

    I've also done this with Raid on Bungeling Bay but I'm not yet 100% sure whether it has worked.

    Effectively, the games load up more or less instantly like cartridge games.

  • @Lolonois I took a similar approach, finding existing .crt or .d81 versions of games before resorting to .d64 versions.

    Out of the 50 titles on my system, the only multi-disk ones in .d64 format I have are Maniac Mansion and Zak McKracken. Both require swapping joystick ports so, in standalone Vice, I have mapped Attach Disk Image and Swap Joystick Ports to L2 and R2 on my PS3 controller respectively.

    To launch .d81directly from ES, I added the following line to emulators.cfg and used the runcommand menu to change the emulator to vice-x64-1581.

    vice-x64-1581 = "/opt/retropie/emulators/vice/bin/ x64 %ROM% -drive8type 1581"

    I found that I did not need to edit es_systems.cfg to include .d81as mine are in zipped format. The Vice launch script, /opt/retropie/emulators/vice/bin/, will extract the zip and the .d81 launches in Vice without issue.

  • @dudleydes That's great information too. Thanks.

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