A downloadable game


No way! Yes way. This, my friends, is the conversion of the legendary Bill & Ted Game Boy™ game by LJN/Beam Software to the Commodore 64.

I used to have this cartdrige in the 90's with my Game Boy and really enjoyed the fast pace and simple but addictive game mechanics. Also the music is great. And you can play as Keanu Reeves - what could be more awesome. So I remade the game from scratch for the C64. SID music was done by Nordischsound. Enjoy! It's free!

Joystick Control:

  • Joystick in Port 2
  • Press fire to jump (short press does a smaller jump)
  • To pick up a bonus item stand still and press the fire button
  • To activate a bonus item press down, then fire button

Keyboard:

  • 'P' pauses the game
  • 'Run/Stop' takes you back to the menu/title screen
  • 'Space' changes the colour theme
  • Also use keys to enter your high score name

Instructions

A scan of the orignal Game Boy manual can be found here.

Note: You will most likely have to play a quest a few times before you learned the best way to master it.

Modern Game Design Considerations

To make the game more enjoyable for today's standards I made the following adjustments...

  • More control over Bill and Ted while jumping
  • Jumps and landings do not need to be pixel perfect
  • Smooth transition from platform to ladders and ropes
  • The ten adventures can now be played in any sequence
  • Game state will be saved after each adventure (à 5 quests)
  • If you are not happy with the progress you can press Run/Stop anytime and start again from the last save state

Technical Details/Design Challenges:

The Game Boy has a resolution of 160x144 pixels. While 2x160 fits nicely into the 320 pixel width of the C64, the 144 pixels height does not (288 vs 200 pixels). Easy would have been to accept the 160x144 pixels dimension but for this game I wanted a full screen experience on the C64. My solution to the problem was to scroll the screen vertically which adds a nice challenging twist to the gameplay (you can't see the top or bottom baddies anymore). The permanent visible status bar (Life/Score/Time) is made out of 7 Sprites positioned in the opened top border. Same for the "Nintendo Game Boy" logo in the bottom border. Overall it took me about 5-6 months to make this game

Trivia:

  • I tried to make Bill & Ted look more like Bill & Ted. Especially Ted did not do Keanu Reeves' distinctive hairstyle justice
  • I also made the representation of Jean d'Arc a little less lush
  • The Pterodactylus in the fifth adventure looked more like a flying manta ray. I fixed that
  • The phone number of the first adventure gives a hint on Keanu's birthday (I had to choose a number ;))
  • The bad guy in the original Game Boy game and instruction booklet is misspelled "De Nomolous" intead of "De Nomolos". We know now that "De Nomolos" is the name of writer and producer "Ed Solomon" spelled backwards.
  • The instruction booklet also mentions a jumping dog whereas the animal in the game is clearly designed as a cat. Which makes sense since there are cats in the second Bogus Journey movie ("Aim for the cat, dude!"), not dogs.
  • I rewatched all 3 movies to better understand the references in the game. To be honest, the "Bill & Ted Face The Music" movie came much later (2020), so I watched it for my own pleasure, not for research :)
  • The alien species called Station did not appear in the original game. They do now. Somewhere :)

Game Requirements

  • C64/C128 (also works on C64 Mini and C64 Maxi)
  • 1 Player
  • PAL system only
  • Looks best in VICE emulator with Full Border Mode (VICII setting)
  • Sounds best with a SID 8580
  • Loads and Saves fastest in VICE Emulator with 'True Drive Emulation' off and 'Virtual Device' on.
  • Also playable on Windows/MacOS/iOS/Android (C64 Emulator required)

Alternative Versions

Updated 22 days ago
StatusReleased
Rating
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(4 total ratings)
AuthorRoman Werner
GenrePlatformer
Tagsbill-and-ted, Commodore 64, excellent, game-boy, Game Boy, Retro

Download

Download
billandtedv1.2.d64 170 kB

Development log

Comments

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Good job!

(+1)

Aww. Thank you!

New version really rocks !

Thank you <3

(1 edit)

Very nice conversion in a great presentation and perfect Gameboy feeling. Our German-language review can be found in our recorded livestream starting at 00:35:00. Automatic subtitles should be available soon (switch on, if necessary). Subscription to our YouTube or Twitch channel is welcome. 🙂

(+1)

Thanks a lot for the video. And also thanks for the captured proof that the "no game over"-bug still exists. Bugger.

Just gave this a go on stream. It's really good, but not loading properly on Ultimate 64.  With Action Replay fast loader I got the game to load, but after completing a set of levels, it wouldn't load the next (just stuck on a blank screen).. and without fast loader, the game didn't load at all.  Hopefully will have more luck in 1.1.

Good to know. I have got an Ultimate 64 and will test it with your configuration as well.

(1 edit)

happy to share my config with you if you send me an email / discord message or something.  I also have video of the issue if required.

Thanks for your help, Hayes. I'd be very grateful if you could send your Ultimate64 config to roman.werner at gmail.com. Unfortunately I can't reproduce the issues with my settings. Cheers!

As with many new C64 releases, here's a longplay from me (created using savestates). Gameboy on the C64 is pretty cool!

very nice. And now the speedrun 😋. Thanks for not spoiling the very end end.

Thank you! By the way, I had the same issue with my MiSTer as hayesmaker64 (post above). Same with BMC64 that I used for the longplay. However, in my case, I hadn't set True Drive Emulation off and Virtual Devices on. Instead, I had Action Replay + True Drive Emulation enabled (that's my standard configuration for maximum compatibility).

It would be highly recommended to address this issue in Version 1.1, as it's quite likely to have the same issue on actual hardware. FYI, I used the version by Excess on csdb for this video, and it worked flawlessly. But, after you mentioned "not spoiling the very end", I assume there's some sort of ending after the congratulations screen(?). However, in this version, it wouldn't load after I pressed the fire button on it. Nonetheless, I thought that this screen might have been the end of the game, otherwise, I might have spoiled the "very end" in the video. 😉

Thanks for the great feedback. I will certainly try to fix the drive access issues, provided that I can reproduce these hickups on my own hardware.

(1 edit)

I am on Vice 3.7.1 GTK3(with mac fixes), C64C PAL, 8565 VICII, 8580 SID, 1541 II, using keyboard joystick function, basically default settings, and cannot play it with drive emulation turned off. I can autostart it (it gives a $LOAD ERROR, but seems to run fine) and it starts, but it resets when it goes to load the first level. Not sure if I have something else set wrong, or if this version of Vice on mac is not working properly as far as TDE.

If i keep TDE emulation on then it loads and plays, but is slow for the disk loading portion and not sure if it screws up other stuff at some point since you say to keep TDE off.

I found the issue. When turning off TDE, make sure to turn on Virtual Device. Works great now. Thanks for this Roman. I never had a Gameboy, but fun to play this conversion. I will have to try out the original on my miyoo mini+ portable that has gb, nes, etc.

(1 edit)

Thank you. I have updated this in the Game Requirements regarding the virtual device. Forgot about that, because I have done my own VICE settings a long time ago and was not sure anymore if it was already set by default. Cheers.

Properly disabling interrupt while loading and saving should fix most of the disk access issues.

Thanks Disabling IRQ implemented in V1.1. Finger's crossed.

(2 edits)

I've neither seen the film nor played any of the games, so to me this is all just one big meh.

It probably scores higher for people familiar with it, but I just see a below-average shovelware title, one that looks really boring from what I can tell. 5/10 is the best I can give it.

There are way cooler Gameboy titles waiting to be converted and this isn't one of them.

Haha. Fair enough. Thanks.

Yeah, sorry I couldn't get more excited for it :/

PS: This account will be closed, my new handle is https://reflex64.itch.io/

with some changes in distributing my C64 covers. They are now one big package to download!

Enjoyed this game, but at one point in Level 3.1, the hourglass near Abe Lincoln vanished after losing a life, making the level impossible to complete. It later reappeared following a reboot. Also, the game corrupted following a Game Over, again had to reboot. I did capture both on video. 

(I used WinVICE as I don't have a working AV connector for my real C64C right now)

Great feedback. Thank you. I will have a closer look. Would it be possible to upload the video to YouTube and share the private link with me (roman.werner at gmail.com)?

Sure - I'll get my raw video uploaded now

Uploaded

Perfect.I had that 3.1 situation before but could not reproduce it anymore and thought I had fixed it. Thanks for reporting/uploading. The crash in the High Score table seems to be the same as already mentioned by p.bes below. Great you caught that on video.

Most of my videos, unless required go out unedited. But in rare instances, where save states are used, editing will be done although it will be stated. You're welcome.

There is some issue with the keyboard routine..... pressing runstop on the menu and then space will lead to some screen corruption,  or even worse alot or even a full crash. I am also not 100% sure that the continuing works correctly,  one time when expected to get a gane over i could continue playing and the lives went back to x9 and the 1st digit was corrupted

Thanks a lot. I will try to reproduce and fix. Do you play on real hardware or in an emulated environment?

Its vice 3.7

Did you disable ‚True Drive Emulation‘?

No

Try it, try it, you will see :). On the emulator I always run .d64s without it. Gets rid of waiting times with games that use the standard Kernal Load and Save routines (Bill & Ted is using standard routines as well).

I mailed you the bugs as video too

PS There is a typo on the screen: LIFES should be LIVES

(1 edit)

Thanks. Yes, that was already pointed out to me. It used to be „Lives“ but then I ran a search/replace of „ Live“ to „Life“ over my code and did not notice the change in the game header. Duh! This will be fixed in the next version 1.1.

Excellent. Remember to update the screenshots on this page too :)

Oh right. Just did. Thanks.

(1 edit)

Very cool. How flexible is the engine in terms of porting other GB titles?

Btw, if you fancied having it playable in the browser at the top of this page, this site has an .html export feature for C64 games:
 
https://lvllvl.com/c64

Thank you. It is not an emulator but code specifically written to make this look & feel like the real thing. However, there is some kind of visual proof of concept (up and down scroll to fit the vertical Game Boy resolution) and potentialy some code parts could be used for other  Game Boy ports.

And thanks for the HTML export link, but I'm not a convinced fan of embedded user experience. Maybe I'll add that later. :)

Yes, I used the same scrolling approach for my Pacman port to fit the full 1-1 arcade map.

I see :). VERY cool games/ports you made.

Most excellent, dude!

Thanks, dude! :)

Excellent conversion. I still have the original module of the game.

Thank you very much. I did buy the module again for this conversion. Not for technical reasons. More for the spirit.

(1 edit)

Very cool conversion 😎 Can we talk about this game? If so, feel free to email me 😊

yahwey88@gmail.com

Hi. Congratulations for this amazing port, the idea to bring the whole GB experience to the C64, instead of adapting somehow the game, is simply great! Two notes:

1. I had a freeze immediately after entering my name in the hi-score, VICE 3.5 just didn't do anything else here (see attach)

2. this game really deserves a .crt version to match the full game boy feeling, since floppy access somehow breaks the poetry ;-)

(4 edits)

Thank you!  But sugar about the freeze. I will give it another test with Vice 3.5. Thanks. It works for me in Vice 3.6.1 though.
I am happy to think about a .crt release. But not today :)

Edit: I also tested with the latest 3.7 and found some comments that 3.5 is not stable. I therefore suggest you update Vice to the latest version.

many thanks. I'll download 3.7 and try again. 

ok, I tried on 3.7 and it works, however after showing a couple of glitches and weird sounds which took my breath for a couple of seconds... :-)

great game conversion.

Thanks for the feedback. It goes directly onto my check/todo list for v1.1 :)

I already made a CRT version, saving back the highscore and progress back to the cartridge too

Wow! Great! I didn't know you can simulate disk reads and writes within a .crt

very good

Thank you.

Very cool game, thumbs up! 🕹

(+1)

Thanks. And high score is being saved. Andira quality proofed ;)

At first I was worried it was going to be the top down RPG that came out on the Lynx... This is quality, well done Roman!

Haha. Thanks Hayes. Much appreciated.

Nice game! 

Thanks. And thanks for the nice gameplay teaser.

Great, thx