Quest For the Magic Candle: Part 2

This is part 2 of my Quest for the Magic Candle. No, I’m not playing through the game like The CRPG Addict, I’m trying to find the game in my Dad’s old C64 stuff.Herein I document some of the rare treasures I unearthed in my quest for The Magic Candle.

A white C64

Not your typical Commodore 64; It looks more like a C128 to be honest, not sure why this looks different from the rest.

An old school joystick with a raised stick and red button on the base

The first joystick I found; Sorry about the bad picture, I didn’t realize how many joysticks there would be, so I didn’t start documenting until the second one. It reminds me of some of those old Atari joysticks, having the button on the base so that it takes two hands to use, instead of one.

A one button white joystick

The second joystick I found. Not that different from the one I learned with, on my Dad’s second computer, a 386, except a hard handle instead of a foam coated one, and not as nice a button.

A top view of the last joystick, showing off the red and black striping

You know, C64 stuff had an odd mix of aesthetics. The C64 itself was pretty ugly, but the black and red stripping on this doesn’t look half bad

A very cluttered basement, with the C64 stuff back against the far wall, so I have to climb over a signifitcan amount to get to it.

Just letting you know how much work I had to do to *get* to the C64 stuff. Sorry for the poor picture quality; The light in this part of the basement doesn’t work, so I was working by flashlight.

At this point however, I went to another part of the land known as “The basement” on the idea that the games from Commodorea may have fled to the land of PC-DOS. In PC-DOS I found many treasures:

A boxed copy of Leathe Goddesses of Phobos

Sadly due to Tricker’s no-text-adventure rules we won’t get to see him play through this game. Hmmm, Dad probably didn’t want me posting this. Oh well.

Boxed copies of Windows 3.1

Man, isn’t that a boring box on Windows 3.1? I remember that OS. Beneath a Steel Sky is one of the only adventure games I’ve ever made much progress on. I never played this copy, but I remember it was a boot option on our 386.

A couple of Gold Box games

More treasures found along the way! A couple of Gold Box games in their classic Gold Boxes. I can’t wait to see if these are as good as Pool of Radiance. I guess we are going to have to educate Chet (The Addict) on Dragonlance once he gets to Champions of Krynn.

A box full of boxed software; Combat Classics 2, MS-DOS 6 Upgrade, MS-DOS 5A and X-Beyond the Final Frontier visible

Another box full of software; Two versions of MS-DOS, Some combat game of my Dad’s, and X Beyond the Final Frontier, a game I bought and never played.

Another box of software.

Welp, this all seems to be DOS stuff, I guess the C64 stuff didn’t get mixed in here after all.

And here I left the land of PC-DOS, the lost treasure obviously not having been mixed in here, and returned to the dark land of the Commodore, to delve deeper intos its towering box mountains.

A classic beige C64

This quest is taking me back this is the model of Commodore 64 I remember from my youth, watching my Dad play Elite on it as I sat on his lap…

Two more C64s in a box

And under it, two more Commodore 64s.

Tw more C64s peaking out from under the last two

And under them a couple more. These things are so easy to pick up off the curb.

The box under the first contains at LEAST two more Commodore 64s.

Ok, this is getting kinda ridiculous.

An odd device with a button on top and a slot in the side

Another treasure unearthed in my search! Anyone know what this gadget is? I’m guessing hold punch, but it doesn’t have any way to clean out the paper.

Boxed magnetic tabe drive and 1200 baud modem.

ohhh, 1200 baud modem? Dad told me how much faster this was then his first one; With this one you had to scroll back up when on BBSes; It loaded the text faster then my Dad could read it. Also shown; A magnetic tape drive; those must have been hell to use.

A boxed copy of Might and Magic

Ah, now here I have found a rare treasure: Might and Magic; One of the highest rated games the CRPG addict has played, still in its lovely box. However, it is not the object of my quest, so I push on.

The magnetic tape drive itself

Man, looks like you could play an audio tape on it. *shudder* Imagine having to load an entire program off this thing!

Two old disk drives

5 3/4″. You Americans and your silly measurements. I have more storage on my keychain then all the disks in this basement combined.

My hand with a scratch on it and a bit of blood


A boxed copy of Gemstone Warrior by SSI

Hey, this looks kinda cool; Nice box and all. By SSI, who made the gold box games; I hope this is one we get to see Chet play.

A boxed copy of Battletech: The Cresent Hawks Inception

Its comingggggg for youuuuu Chetttttt
(This is one of the games the Addict hated the most)

A boxed copy of the game Rastan, which shows a man with fire coming off his sword to strike a lizard-thing

Is it just me or is this box kinda lame? He is flame whipping the lizard I guess? It sure doesn’t look like he is leaving a trail of fire after hitting it.

A boxed copy of Might and Magic II

Another game that CRPG Addict praised, Might and Magic II. Very similar box, I guess they didn’t want to waste money on new art.

A boxed copy of Fellowship of the Ring

Well, here is another game that did not fare very well when Chet played it. I’m surprised at how many of my Dad’s games have shown up on The Addicts blog; I guess there wasn’t much selection, and that he was buying games in the period of time that The Addict has covered.

The three books that came with Elite

Elite. Man, this game has an effect on me to this day. I loved the idea of a free roaming space game where you can be anything you want, supporting yourself by trading cargo, bounty hunting or piracy. I’ve looked for modern versions of the game, but not really found anything I like: Most are 2d arcade space games, that I’m just plain no good at. Or really lightweight RPGs. I’d love a complex, detailed modern RPG on the topic. Anyone have suggestions?

The Magic Candle peaking out of the final box of C64 stuff

At last! The Magic Candle! In the very last box of C64 stuff in the entire basement I spy the game I have been questing for peaking out from under some other things. The goal of my quest is at hand!

And so did my quest for the Magic Candle end, though I still have to show you what treasures I found along with this item of power.

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13 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. That little device you were asking about is used to make a read-only 5.25″ floppy disk into a read/write floppy. More commonly it was also used to make a single sided floppy into a double sided floppy.

    It works just like a hole punch. If you look at the front of most 5.25″ floppy disks, you’ll see a small rectangular notch on the right hand side (if it is a writable disk). That notch allowed the write head on a floppy drive to drop down onto the media for writing data. If you used that gadget to make a similar notch on the left side of the disk, you would be able to write to the back side of the disk as well as the front.

    If you had a disk that you didn’t want to get copied over (make it read-only), we used to just put some tape over the notch so the drive couldn’t write to the disk.

    Thanks for sharing. Your blog post brings back good memories! Time to clean the basement and find my gold box games! :)


  2. Good post! Some thoughts:

    That first pic looks like a 64C. It was almost identical to the original 64, besides the case, of course.

    Commodore was actually ordered in court to cease the making of those Atari lookalike joysticks.

    Beneath a Steel Sky! I recorded a Let’s Play of this one. and I had a blast doing it. I prefer the black and white cover though.

    The Enraged Geek is blogging about playing one of those Dragonlance RPG’s:

    Any idea what Star Trek game that is, in the pic with the X Beyond game?

    I looked up Gemstone Warrior (from 1984!), and it wasn’t released for PC. Also, MobyGames has it listed as a platformer, though the screenshots don’t give me that impression.

    The Might and Magic box art became more interesting with their 3rd installment.

    Too bad you live so far away. I’d love to look through those old game boxes. Of course, there’s having to be invited and all, but details shmetails. ;P

    • That Star Trek game is the point-and-click adventure just called “Star Trek 25th Anniversary”:,5557/

      • Oh yeah, sorry, I knew that, as I have the strategy guide on my shelf. Oddly enough, I’ve read the guide but never played the game.

        Amy: If you are ever in the Greater Toronto Area toss me a line and we can see about hooking up.

        • I’ll keep that in mind, and thank you, but the odds are extremely slim, since I’ve never been there. But you never know. For example, I never thought I’d be living in the southwest. ;)

  3. A treasure trove of cool stuff…!! That “weird” Commodore 64 was actually a different model, the C64c if I recall correctly. And that was indeed an Atari 2600 joystick. Thanks for the photos, it was a real nostalgia trip. And your dad rocks.

  4. Your suncom tool is a disk punch – basically a glorified paper hole puncher, but when you punched a hole in the proper place on a single sided disk (the write-protect tab area basically) you could flip the single sided disk over and use it as a double sided disk. Since single sided disks sold for less than double sided disks (but of course, having had no quality control on both sides, had a higher failure rate) this allowed the frugal gamer to save a bit of money.

    What is the write protect tab you ask? Well, those old 5.25″ (not 5.75″) floppy drives checked for whether a disk was writable or not via the physical presence or lack of a notch in the side of the disk. 3.5″ disks had the same thing, but they had a little plastic toggle that slid in and out of place on the plastic sleeve of the disk. In the old days we did it old school with usually some tape of some kind over the write protect tab.

    And we punched lots of single sided disks into double sided disks.

    Congrats on finding Magic Candle! My friend had the Apple // version, but I never got around to borrowing it myself.

    • Oh, cool. I knew that about the disks, but didn’t know that was a disk puncher.

  5. >>>>Elite. Man, this game has an effect on me to this day. I loved the idea of a free roaming space game where you can be anything you want, supporting yourself by trading cargo, bounty hunting or piracy. I’ve looked for modern versions of the game, but not really found anything I like: Most are 2d arcade space games, that I’m just plain no good at. Or really lightweight RPGs. I’d love a complex, detailed modern RPG on the topic. Anyone have suggestions?<<<<<<

    Check these links:

    • Yeah, I’ve seen them. Never really got into them as I need a joystick, which are no longer cheap. I got my Dad one and a CD with ooelite on it. The genre seems to lend itself to an RPG so well, but the ones that exist are very, very lightweight and repetitive.

  6. The cassette drives were hell to use. When I was in high school (early 1980s) we were required to take a computer BASIC course to graduate, and our school had Commodore 64s & a PET computer each with cassette drives. If you were trying to load a program or a game, you put the tape in, went downstairs to the vending machine to get a soft drink (after school of course) and came back up and if you were lucky it had finally loaded. Before I graduated, the school got serious, converted a classroom into a computer lab and upgraded to floppy drives. Spent some after school time playing Summer Games, Telengard, Ghostbusters, and Blue Max. Man I am getting old…

  7. That’s not the same Fellowship of the Ring game that the addict played. It’s not even an RPG, it’s a “graphic adventure” basically a text adventure like Zork, but with static pictures to look at.

    • That makes sense. My Dad was a big fan of those type of games back in the day, and owned a number of text adventures. Thanks for the information.

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