Buying a Commodore Amiga 30 years later, just to play games

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As a teenager in the 90s I would see Amiga magazines on the rack at the local bookstore. I always thought the graphics looked very good, but deep down I knew that there was something seriously weird about them.


Upgrade the memory on my Atari STE was a very stressful experience. The thought of pushing that memory module in to the motherboard still gives me a cold sweat.


Same here, but looking back, I’m not sure if the graphics were truly weird or more the kind of weird like when you’re at a childhood sleepover and your friend’s mom uses Peter Pan peanut butter and you’re used to Skippy.

IOW, just something you’re not accustomed too.


Not just the graphics, the whole computer.



Amigas were AWESOME. They were top of the line computers for broadcast TV graphics (and film) for years. As a kid who grew up on Commodore, Amiga was the Holy Grail. I even had the chance to work on a few in college.


They were awesome, i had a few machines myself and still own an A1200. You where right about their widespread use in tv and film, Babylon five’s first feature length episode was made exlusively using Amiga’s, no doubt running Cinema 4d and Lightwave.


I had the piggyback upgrade done on mine:


I was thinking that buying the actual hardware was weirdly unnecessary, given how good emulation is, but then it occurred to me that there actually is a difference - the latency on modern keyboards is significantly higher than it was for computers in the Commodore era, given all the layers of cruft between the keyboard and its operation now. So for games, it might actually be enough to slightly alter the feel.


Amiga SUCKS.

Atari ST RULES!!!

  • My 10 year old self

Word! Or Atari Word Processor, at least.

Indeed, the Amiga got the graphics and the Atari got the midi socket. Together, they could make sweet, sweet music videos.


I remember those days. An Atari shop once used a dead Amiga for a doorstop, causing an Amiga fan to come into the shop and scream them out.


I have wanted to do this a half-dozen times over the last decade. I even kept my amiga disk collection for years until I was able to get them all as digital archives. I still have that archive, with literally hundreds of games.

This, of course, is why I have never actually gone and built a “new” Amiga to play these on (or kept an emulator around for extended periods). Because I am 100% certain such a thing would become my entire life.

I owned so many Amiga since it was also my early career. I even had a rare Amiga CD32 with the MPEG2 adaptor to play Video CDs. The real Amiga gaming platform!

Since we’re talking Amigas, and in the spirit of my C64 List, here’s my fave Amiga games, in no particular order, most of which will be no brainers:

  • Lemmings
  • Mechforce
  • Giana Sisters
  • Beneath a Steel Sky
  • Warlords
  • Dungeon Master
  • Balance of Power
  • Champions of Krynn (or any of the SSI games, really)
  • Populous
  • The Settlers

Also at the time, a lot of PC games had better conversions on Amiga, which at the time had better graphics, namely Simcity, Dune II, Syndicate and the like.


I sometimes miss GFA BASIC.



I like the new version of the Amiga with all the modern things like USB. A great development opportunity for those tired of Windows and MacOS and Lunix and all the other unix derivatives.

It is hard to find a unique platform up now that is not over-developed with too many apps available for it.
Enough of an enthusiast community and enough tools to make it a great opportunity for development.

But what if emulation isn’t your idea of fun?

I can easily see this. I think of emulation as being neater than hell (especially when done on a Wii), but the reality is that it sort of sucks sometimes—when it works at all—and it’s a huge pain to get set up in the first place.

I’ll probably always prefer the real hardware. (Or some FPGA-made alternative.)

What with all it’s custom chips, the Amiga needs quite a hefty FPGA to emulate it at the hardware level, but hopefully soon there’ll be one.

Nope, even towards the end of the Amiga almost every game ran direct from floppy disk, but Amiga floppies are old enough to start degrading these days. If I ever get my old A1200 out of my parents loft I’ll probably stick one of these in.