11 thoughts on “Episode 11 – Zool: Ninja of the nth Dimenson

  • October 9, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Great episode as always, just want to fill out some of the information on the 500 a bit more.
    In truth all Amigas came with Real Time Clocks even the 1000. They start incrementing time from the moment they are switched on until switched off, and noting time and date a file is created or changed is part of the Amiga filesystem. The issue the Amiga 1000, 500, 600 and 1200 have is no way to continue incrementing time and date once switched off, so without that they start at the same time every time they are switched on. With the 1000, third party companies released products that connected to the clock port or mouse port that had batteries and clocks that you set then with custom software depending on the manufacture and model of the battery backed clock, you ran a program in the startup of the Amiga to read the battery backed clock and set the Amigas clock following which the Amiga clock is used. Battery backed clock is only used when called. With the 500/2000 Commodore made a standard battery backed clock system where any clock made to the specs could be called by a command now in the operating system to set the Amiga clock. This was on the motherboard on big box Amigas and the trapdoor RAM on the 500, 600, and clockport or trapdoor expansion on the 1200.

    This brings us to trapdoor RAM. Early 500s released with 1.2, but the other interesting things are that the really early ones had a Commodore key instead of left Amiga key. They also released with the same Agnus chip as the 1000, which could access 512k RAM though they knew the next Agnus for which the 500 was designed would address 1MB Chip RAM. The 500 has 512k RAM on the motherboard and the design was to allow the additional 512k in the trapdoor to make up the full 1MB Chip Mem. But with a 512k Agnus, this RAM is neither Chip RAM nor fast RAM. Therefore Slow RAM until you replaced the Agnus with one that supported 1MB (called Fat Agnus).

    The 500 Plus placed 1MB RAM on the motherboard, and supported an additional 1MB in the trapdoor expansion. This allowed this model 500 to support 2MB Chip MEM (same as the 3000 and 600) .

    The 500 did have a composite out. But it was black and white only (while the 1000 and later 600/1200 had color composite out).Other companies released better adapters than the A520. I had a C-View that had all the electronics stored compactly in just the cable end connector with two RCA cables sticking out that plugged into the Chroma and Luma inputs on a Commodore monitor giving better quality than the single composite.


  • October 11, 2015 at 4:20 am

    I did make one mistake. For the 1000, battery backed clock add-ons attached to the parallel port or mouse port, or as an add on to the Starboard 2 RAM expansion (I have the Starboard2 and parallel port versions for my 1000s) . 1200 had the clock port for those expansions though most of us got battery backed clocks on their Accelerators.

  • October 18, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    Wow what a crazily hyped game Zool was! I must admit that I was really looking forward to this game before it was released since it had massive coverage in the magazines over here in the UK. But I didn't really ever enjoy playing it unfortunately. I didn't really know the reasons for this back when I was 13-years-old but I think you guys hit the nail on the head when you alluded to the level design being a little below par.

    That makes perfect sense since a lot of this game seems like it should be great fun. But the levels aren't particularly enjoyable unfortunately (especially level 1). Also, Zool isn't really that much fun to control and he's quite awkward. The bullet things he shoots are not very satisfying and overall I struggle to see why this game received such high ratings when it was released.

  • October 18, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Roland! Nice to hear from you again! Thanks for weighing in. I look forward to your thoughts on Kick Off 2.

  • October 18, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Thanks John, I'll try to give an opinion, although I'm not too much of a football fan in general if I'm honest. I know it gets a lot of love from the guys who have played it though so I'll definitely give it a go. Looking forward to listening to the podcast on my travels as well!

  • December 22, 2015 at 9:55 am

    I'm from England and I'd never heard of Chupa Chups before Zool was released, and the only time I've had one was when an Amiga magazine put a free one on the cover.

    Regarding the Amiga, my A500 is a Kickstart 1.2 with the Commodore key on the left. All my friends who had Amigas also has KS 1.2. I think of 1.3 as the new one, and 1.2 as the 'proper' one 🙂

  • December 22, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Hi Paul! I have no idea why I thought Chupa Chups were from England. Turns out they're Spanish. Interesting about your A500–maybe England just got an inordinate amount of 1.2's 🙂

  • December 31, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    It's just because I got it quite early (September 1987) and the 1.3 wasn't out until 1988. My A500 still has a 1.2. I never upgraded it, as the only difference I know about was it could auto-boot from a hard drive. I just put a boot disk in, and it loaded some boot code quickly to start the HD, so it wasn't a big deal.

  • January 1, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Oh, so you never had any program compatibility issues? I wonder if it could run Dragon's Lair…

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