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Top Retro Computer Game Characters for the C64

Updated on April 5, 2015
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Michael has been an avid gamer and part time writer in more decades than he cares to remember.

What are retro video games?

Older games from the previous generation of technology would be a good way of looking at it.

Everyone has a favorite video game, or character. And lets not forget, everyone loves a nostalgic trip down memory lane. In this article I want to look at some of the all time classics from the 8-bit era, predominantly the Commodore 64 (C64).
This home computer represents to me the vast bulk of retro gaming goodness. I know there were other equally important systems around, like the Atari VCS and the Amstrad contributions, but this was the first computer I owned and I loved it more than any other system since!

One final note, these are presented in no particular order. I loved all the games they starred in and they all deserve their place in the list.


Miner Willey

Willy was a working class local lad, a pit worker (must have been back before the Tories closed them all) who one day discovers a long forgotten mineshaft and discovers his fame and fortune in Manic Miner, He then goes on to join the jet set in Jet Set Willy, where he has to tidy his new mansion after a particularly wild party!

The games were programmed by Mathew Smith, an absolute legend of mythical status in the 80's programming scene, and were released in 1983 and 1984 respectively.

This was I believe the first game on the Spectrum to feature music during the game-play, previously thought impossible. It was also released on the C64 and many other formats. These 2 games often feature in retro aficionados top 10.


Monty Mole

This little furry dude starred in a series of puzzle platform games from the publisher Gremlin Graphics. Stealing coal from the Yorkshire coal board in the first outing in 1984, he finds himself escaping prison and being hounded across Europe, the games kept on coming, and getting better and better. He starred in 6 games in the end, Wanted: Monty Mole, Monty is Innocent, Monty on the Run, Auf Wiedersehen Monty, Moley Christmas and Impossamole.

 As you can see on the piccie, this one has a Zzapp64 Sizzler award !


Sir Arthur

No relation to the famous King and head of The Round Table, but a famous Arthur none the less. He stared initially in the Arcade classic Ghosts 'n Goblins in 1985, and before long this great (but somewhat tricky) game was ported to the 8-bit home computer systems. He is on a quest to rescue his beloved princess Prin Prin, slaughtering the forces of darkeness theough levels of zombies and ghosts.

 At the first sign of damage, his armour fell off and revealed a natty pair of boxer shorts! The game was followed up by the equally difficult and successful Ghouls 'n Ghosts. This game was a firm favorite of mine as a child, even though (and I begrudgingly admit this) I don't think I ever got off the 2nd level! Also worthy of mention was the awesome music that accompanied your travels.

Bub n Bob

Two of the cutest bubble blowing dinos on the planet!! They stared in several games, but I will always have a spot for the first one, Bubble Bobble, where they dispatched enemies by encasing them in bubbles and jumping up to them in an insane platformer that still plays brilliantly today. bubbles could also be jumped on to reach higher areas.

There were 100 levels, and various endings for those who managed to complete this marathon with skillz! This was another arcade classic ported to most of the 8-bit machines at the time


Usagi Yojimbo

A samurai warrior rabbit. Just let that sink in for a moment. What a bloody great idea ! Starting life as a series of comics and a pen and parer R.P.G, he was faithfully recreated in 1988 for the C64, Spectrum and Amstrad CPC in Samurai Warrior: The Battles of Usagi. His name translated means rabbit bodyguard. His quests finds him on the road to rescue a panda (what else!) called Lord Hikiji, bowing when appropriate and only getting his sword out (oooer) when confronted by enemies. Dammit, I loved this game !!


Jack the Nipper

Jack is a naughty baby. So naughty in fact that he wants to break the world record for naughtiness, and so begins a reign of terror at the expense of family pets, friends, family and neighbors, all the while avoiding a smacking from his mum (never did me any harm by the way). So, you fill up his "naughtyometer" by breaking things and scaring people!

 In the follow up Jack and his family are deported to Australia for excessive naughtiness, but he jumps out the plane using just a nappy for a parachute, and so begins another grand adventure.

 Incidentally, its another great series of games by Gremlin Graphics

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