C64 Lightguns
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Like many other platforms the Commodore 64 also has it's history of lightguns. Although not always known there are various kinds of these lightguns that are not compatible with each other. This makes it difficult to establish a decent set of games as 3rd party game developers (the once that do not produce the lightguns themselves) are reluctant to develop games for a small amount of users. So in short the lightgun game industry for the C64 never came of the ground. But that does not mean that this technology has to be forgotten. In the contrary, this website is meant to give more inside information about these guns and how they work and the games you can play with them.

But I have to be honest, most games are simply not good enough and could be considered "boring". But this doesn't mean that all lightgun games are boring. Operation wolf for instance is the perfect example of the arcade game brought into your home and it is this game that sparked my interest of the lightgun. My quest and passion for these games and this website, lies in the simple fact that I had a lightgun in my collection of C64 games. For many many years, but it never worked and I did not understand why. Then I noticed the website of Nicholas Coplin (http://www.64hdd.com/projects/c64-proj3.html#lightgun) that has a small item about lightguns and then it hit me... "wait a minute my gun is using the wrong games or it is working but using the wrong connections". So that started me to search for all information I could find about lightguns and started to experiment. And now I know that there are many kind of lightguns available for the C64. Fortunately they can be divided into 3 categories. Because there basically 3 different types of electrical connections used (trigger and sensor signal). Which gun is compatible with which game and how it should be connected is described in the table below.

Lightgun/pen support in VICE
The wonderfull emulator VICE (http://vice-emu.sourceforge.net) supports the lightgun/pen. To enable lightgun/pen support simply go to the settings menu and choose "lightpen" settings.

Unfortunately VICE only supports 2 types of lightguns, the "Stack light rifle" and the "Magnum light phaser". The gun that is not supported is the "Gun stick", which is a pitty because the "Gun stick" games are very nice looking and playable games. However considering the limitted information about the technical details of the "Gun stick" I could find on the internet, I'm not surprised it isn't supported in VICE. All information I have, regarding the "Gun stick", was based on experimentation and technical knowledge of other existing lightgun systems.

Stack light rifle
<click here for more information>

This lightgun may not look as real as the gun included in the "Magnavox Odyssey Shooting Gallery" pack, it sure looks nice. It has games for the C64 and the VIC20. Due to the long barrel it claims to be a very accurate gun. Considering the difficulty of the available games you'll certainly need that accuracy. The most interesting part of this is the abillity to configure it to your own taste. If you whish you can use it with or without the sholder piece or barrel. There were also versions with a scope and a longer barrel. The gun really feels comfortable when holding it and contributes largely to the gameplay. This gun design also exists under different names for different systems. Below you'll see that my own modified lightgun is build into such a gun.
Available games
Big game safarino screenshot available
I'm still searching for this game, if you have it or know
of a link for more information about it then please
contact me at jd1541@hotmail.com
Cosmic commando
Crowshootno screenshot available
I'm still searching for this game, if you have it or know
of a link for more information about it then please
contact me at jd1541@hotmail.com

Escape From Alcatrazno screenshot available
I'm still searching for this game, if you have it or know
of a link for more information about it then please
contact me at jd1541@hotmail.com

Glorious twelth
(a.k.a. Glorious12th)
(a.k.a. Grouse Shoot)
High noon shootout
Hit the buttons

(This game was made for the lighthammer project,
but was designed to also be played with a lightgun.
This because not many people own a lighthammer)

Indian Attack
Rats and catsno screenshot available
I'm still searching for this game, if you have it or know
of a link for more information about it then please
contact me at jd1541@hotmail.com
Shooting gallery
Shootin' Putin
Smack a mole

(This game was made for the lighthammer project,
but was designed to also be played with a lightgun.
This because not many people own a lighthammer)
Starbase defence
I'm still searching for this game, if you have it or know
of a link for more information about it then please
contact me at jd1541@hotmail.com

The only version I have is a joystick-only version.
Vengenance of Zeno This game was never released for more
information visit the "games that weren't" website
http://www.gamesthatwerent.com/gtw64/vengeance-of-zeno
no screenshot available



Magnum light phaser (and compatible models)
<click here for more information>
   

 The "Magnum light phaser" lightgun is a less unique design. The pin and signal definitions have also been used by other lightguns. Therefore the list of games for this system is the longest.

Available games
Army days
Baby blues
Blaze out
a compilation of the games:

Robocop,
Combat school,
Hyper sports (skeet shoot),
Platoon,
Rambo III
Blaze out is a collection of certain levels of well known (non lightgun) games.
These levels were converted to lightgun games and combined into a single game.
So you can't just play Rambo-III, you first have to beat the games before it.
Which is pretty difficult. For instance most people could not
get past the 1st level "Robocop". I was such a person until i figured something out
when I watched the video of GP GarethG (see link below)

But I figured out a little trick:
Don't look at the targets LOOK AT YOUR GAUGES.
Why you would ask. Well... the gun of Robocop isn't a single shot
gun, it is a fully automatic machine gun with unlimitted ammo!

Aim your crosshair to the center of the screen at shoulder height of the bad guy.
Then continuously press the trigger, the bad guy will walk into your gun
and the score will increase, when the hostage is hit, release the triger immediately!
When the hostage is out of range repeat the process, the bad guy will take
hits until a score of 4500 has been reached.

This game is to be played from a .TAP file (there is a .PRG version but it only contains the first level (Level 1: Robocop)).

For everyone who isn't such a good player but want so see how the game plays.
GP GarethG has put a video online: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hD8Esq_TZvU
Level 1: Robocop

Level 2: Combat school

Level 3: Hyper sports

Level 4: Platoon

Level 5: Rambo III
Cosmic storm
Gangster
Hit the buttons

(This game was made for the lighthammer project,
but was designed to also be played with a lightgun.
This because not many people own a lighthammer)

Operation thunderbolt
Operation wolf

Ghost town
GooseBusters
Gunslinger
Time Traveller
 Shootin' Putin
Smack a mole

(This game was made for the lighthammer project,
but was designed to also be played with a lightgun.
This because not many people own a lighthammer)
Lightgun archery
Although a joystick-based testversion of this
game exists, the game itself was never released.
For more information visit the "games that weren't" website
http://www.gamesthatwerent.com/gtw64/lightgun-archery
Make My Day
This game was never released for more
information visit the "games that weren't" website
http://www.gamesthatwerent.com/gtw64/make-my-day/
no screenshot available




Gun stick
<click here for more information>


This lightgun is from a Spanish company (MHT Ingenieros), the strangest things about this gun are that it uses batteries and that it DOES NOT connect to the lightpen input of the Commodore computer. It connects to the DOWN connection of the joystick port. This makes it more difficult for the computer to detect but in pratice it seems to work. The bennefit of this setup is that you can connect 2 of these guns to a C64. Normally the C64 supports only one lightgun because it has only one lightpen input. But since this gun does not require the use of the lightpen input multiple guns can be connected to the computer. For other platforms there were multiple games available, but for the C64 it appears to be only 2. The image shown here is not an advertisement for the C64 but most likely for the spectrum.
Available games
Mike Gunner
Target Plus

Downloads:

Knowing how difficult it can be to find information about Commodore related lightguns (and the games), I've made all information that I have available for download: <click here to go to the download location>

Personal project, the "3in1gun" (a.k.a. "One gun that does it all")

The chance that you own all original lightguns is very small, so in order to play all these games on your C64 you could consider to modify a lightgun. Not your best looking and perfectly functional one, but a gun that wasn't used otherwise, we don't want to destroy historical treasures, do we? But there is no problem modyfying lightguns intended for another platform, the SEGA or NES perhaps (just joking, these are historical important too).

I had an unused gun that looked a lot like the Stack light rifle, but I'm sure that it wasn't because on the side there was written "Thundercolt". It also looks like the gun Audio Sonic, Hanimex and Roberts uses. Anywaythe text "Thundercolt" can't be clearly seen on the images I have of these systems, so I'm not sure to which game system my "stack light rifle look alike" gun belongs to. Also this model could hold a ammo clip as seen in another variaton of this gun. So this gun design has been used quite a lot. Anyway, I bought this gun on a fleemarket many many years ago, it had no box or anything else. It was just the gun. I bought it with the intention to make it work on my C64, but it ended up in box and came out almost 10 years later. To be modified into the 3-in-1-gun.

My intention was to create a circuit that makes it possible to build a gun  that can be made to act as each of the 3 guns (Stack light rifle, Magnum light phaser, Gun stick). So that it would be possible to play all the games with only one type of gun. Wow! What a great idea... and only 30 years too late. <click here for more information>

 

This is not a lightgun...

A device sometimes mistaken for a lightgun is the "gamma strike" package. This is a simple pelletgun (it shoot tiny balls) and a special target. And the idea is that you shoot at the target, which contains sensors and is connected to a computer. The computer keeps track of time and score in one game, and in another you need to shoot the target to defeat aliens. For a more detailed story behind this game visit the "Games that weren't" website:  http://www.gamesthatwerent.com/gtw64/gamma-strike

 
Thanks to:
- Nicholas Coplin (of the C64HDD website. This is his projects page: http://www.64hdd.com/projects/c64-proj3.html#eprom_cart ). Because he put this info on the web (speaking about the fact that the trigger button is not always connected to the lines you would expect it to be...) he inspired me to figure out all the details there are to know. And by doing so renewing my passion for this wonderfull input device.
- The VICE team (Link to emulator: http://vice-emu.sourceforge.net ) for putting in lightpen/gun support. This makes testing a whole lot easier.