They say that it isn't nice to start reviews with a "the game box was opened by my shaky hands" style comments, but here goes, anyway. Just for this time. The ocassion deserves it.
**** COMMODORE 64 BASIC V2 ****
64K RAM SYSTEM 38911 BASIC BYTES FREE
There it is again.
When I saw that first time on my PC screen with this emulator, I almost cried.
I loaded up the Maniac Mansion disk image that I had downloaded from Arnold. 0-Day Warez, indeed.
I typed LOAD "*",8,1. Like in the old days.
Slowly, the game loaded. It took time. Just like in the old days.
Then, something happened. The Eagle Software logo slowly appeared on the screen. Oooh, a real 0-Day Warez version, indeed! The same old music. The same old greetings from the software pirates to others. The same old intro as it was. This was precisely same warez version that I had! (Not pirated by me, but that's not the issue - I actually bought most of my C64 games, unlike many other people I knew...)
That... brought out the old C64 fan in me. I have to say I cry often. I'm a soft person like that. But for first time for a long time, I cried in joy.
Commodore 64 was alive. It would, now, always be alive.
VICE, the Versatile Commodore Emulator, is an emulator for 8-bit Commodore computers. (For Amiga, I wholeheartedly recommend UAE...)
At the moment it emulates Commodore 64, VIC-20, Commodore 128 and most models of Commodore PET. (Nitpickingly, you need to own these machines to use the emulator, but since Commodore isn't around, using it is probably pretty much a victimless crime. But if you want to sleep well, go buy a real C64 for a penny, it's worth more than they sell for these days =)
I have been following VICE's development since 0.11 or so, and I have to say it has grown to be a really, really good C64 emulator. First of all, even in the early days WAY before the 1.0 days, it had a working 1541 emulator. (Yes, it actually emulates 1541 disk drive (and also other Commodore drives) from every point of operation - and it's just as slow =) This meant most of the games that needed to mess around with 1541 worked out of the box. (Some emus could barely run stuff from tape images. Sure, if all you wanted was Commando, those emus were fine, but...)
The 6502 emulation (and other processors found in the machines, including the Z80 in C128 - not tried!) is pretty good, too, and has been that from early days...
Also, VICE is portable. It is written in C and has no Assembly optimizations as such (but that, of course, doesn't mean that it'd be slow!) It has been reported to run on UNIXes/X11, MS-DOS, Windows, OS/2, RISC OS and BeOS.
I can only speak of Commodore 64 emulation, but most of this applies (if applicable) on other machines as well. VICE uses Commodore keyboards remapped to PC keyboard, and it's completely remappable too. It supports joysticks and keyboard emulation of joysticks and even the Amiga mouse, emulates both SID models, also supports REU, does d64 and t64 disk and tape images in addition to its own simple format (x64) and also supports modules. It also supports serial port emulation. (Theoretically, it might be possible to get to the Internet with the emulator... UAE does this, why would VICE be different? =)
The emulation also has a lot of cool little features like reSID sound engine that sounds really majestic, and even "PAL emulation" that blurs the image for those who think PC monitors are too damn sharp. Authentic up to the headaches! =)
Home page: http://viceteam.bei.t-online.de/