Within this joystick lies
the heart and soul of a
favorite old Commodore
(no, not Lionel Ritchie).
HACKING THE C64 DTV
Retro-gaming joystick easily converts into full
Commodore computer emulator. By Mark R. Brown
Photography by Mark R. Brown
Retro gaming is the latest craze, and Mammoth the toy has a cult following of Commodore-happy
Toys is letting people rediscover 20-year-old joystick modders.
videogames by making a joystick that mimics Without even cracking the case you can boot
30 classic Commodore 64 games, including Par- the joystick up in C64 mode, run “secret” games,
adroid, Uridium, Impossible Mission, and World find numerous Easter eggs, and summon an
Championship Karate. It plugs right into your onscreen keyboard that lets you write and run
television — no console required. QVC sells the BASIC programs from the C64 command line.
C64 DTV (Direct-to-Television) joystick for $30. And if you pull the DTV apart and look inside,
At a buck a game, it’s a real bargain. you’ll see that the circuit board is littered with
The ASIC chip at the heart of the C64 DTV helpful labels and unused, hack-inviting solder
simulates the original C64 while doubling the pads. On the C64 DTV hacking forums that have
RAM and offering 16 times the color palette. sprung up online, people exchange notes on all
(That’s, um, 128K and 256 colors.) But there’s far sorts of modifications, from enhancing the audio
more to the DTV, thanks to a development team to kludging up a flash memory module. In short,
that clearly was not satisfied with just software the C64 DTV is a hacker’s dream: a Commodore
bonuses. They loaded the DTV with undocu- 64 for the 21st century. Is it any wonder that the
mented hooks and features, and, not surprisingly, C64 community is excited about this thing?